Reports say United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May will meet Jeremy Corbyn later to see whether there is common ground to break the Brexit deadlock.
Brexit Secretary Stephen Barclay says the “remorseless logic” of MP numbers in the House of Commons meant the UK was heading for an “undesirable” soft Brexit – closer links with the EU.
There were no preconditions for the talks, he said, but it was not a “blank cheque” either.
Mr Corbyn says he wants a customs union and workers’ rights to be priorities.
The PM’s move to hold talks has angered some Brexiteers, including Tory Boris Johnson, who has accused Mrs May of “entrusting the final handling of Brexit to Labour”.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, another prominent Brexiteer, described the offer as “deeply unsatisfactory” and accused Mrs May of planning to collaborate with “a known Marxist”.
But Mr Barclay blamed hard Brexiteers in the Eurosceptic European Research Group (ERG) of Tory MPs who refused to back the PM’s deal.
“It’s regrettable that what we have been saying for several months now is coming to pass but that is the remorseless logic of not backing the prime minister’s deal.
“Because the alternative then is to have to seek votes from the opposition benches because 35 of my own colleagues would not support the prime minister’s deal,” said Mr Barclay.
Mr Barclay said the consequence of MPs not passing the PM’s deal was either a “soft Brexit or no Brexit at all”.
“It [a soft Brexit] is undesirable but it’s the remorseless logic of the numbers of the House of Commons,” he said.
He said the EU has said the withdrawal agreement is the only deal available, but he said Labour had expressed more concern about the future relationship – which is contained within the separate political declaration.
The withdrawal agreement includes how much money the UK must pay to the EU as a settlement, details of the transition period, and citizens’ rights – as well as the controversial Irish backstop that aims to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.
The political declaration sets out proposals for how the UK’s long term future relationship with the EU will work after Brexit.