IT says much for the state of our democracy that the House of Commons had to adjourn its business early yesterday because of a water leak cascading into the chamber. Politics in this country is quite literally falling apart.

Or is it? Negotiating teams from the Conservative and Labour parties spent four-and-a-half hours yesterday locked in talks that have been described as “detailed and productive”.

Further discussions are due to take place today, with both sides insisting they are determined to find some common ground that will avert the risk of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a Brexit deal.

Understandably, there is backbench scepticism in both parties. Some Labour MPs fear Theresa May is meeting Jeremy Corbyn simply to run down the clock ahead of her planned meeting with EU leaders next week. If time is running out, might her deal become a more appealing proposition?

A number of Conservative MPs have accused Mrs May of pandering to Labour’s Remainers and paving the way for a soft Brexit that will tie the UK to a customs union. They fear a carve-up that will freeze them out.

It remains difficult to see how anything could command a majority in the House of Commons at the moment, but it can only be a good thing that our two biggest parties are finally coming together to try to reach an agreement.

For far too long, the Brexit debate has been hampered by political self-interest. It is to be hoped a belated attempt at consensus finally results in a breakthrough.