IAN Blackford is to hold talks with the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels later this month.

The SNP’s Westminster leader revealed the forthcoming visit as he addressed a fringe event on the opening day of his party’s annual conference in Glasgow.

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“One of the things I will say is that myself and Stephen Gethins are going to meet Michel Barnier on October 25 and we have extended the invitation to the Liberal Democrats and the Greens and to Plaid Cymru because we want to build a consensus in parliament that recognises remaining in the single market and customs union as the least bad option,” he said.

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Asked whether a bespoke Brexit deal for Scotland to remain closely aligned to the EU – as could be given to Northern Ireland – was still an SNP demand or whether it was too late for this to be considered, he said it was not too late.

“We must do everything we can to support the Good Friday Agreement but if there is to be deal which recognises the particular circumstances of Northern Ireland, then of course a deal can be done which recognises that there is a clear and demonstrable desire for Scotland can remain in the single market and customs union,” he said.

Pressed on whether he would be raising this issue of a special deal for Scotland at the meeting with Barnier, he said he would be.

During the fringe discussion, hosted by the Sunday Times, Blackford stressed the SNP would not support any deal agreed between the EU and the UK which took Scotland out of the single market and customs union because of the economic damage it would bring, and added he would vote against it.

“I fundamentally believe there is a majority in the House of Commons for staying in the single market and the customs union,” he said.

“I would say to every member of Parliament – SNP, Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat – when it comes to that meaningful vote the responsibility for each and every one of you is to protect the interests of your constituents.”

Referring to the SNP “walk out” in June when the party’s MPs left the Commons chamber in protest at the lack of time given to debate the impact on Scotland and on devolution of the EU Withdrawal Bill, Blackford added that his party would “use every means at our disposal”to oppose a deal which did not include single market and customs union membership.

“The EU is prepared to do a deal which includes free trade, which includes the customs union and the barrier to that is the disunity which is there in the Conservative party. This is the nub of the problem,” he added.

Today Blackford will say that people in Scotland are “sick” of being told what to do by the Tory Government. He will claim Brexit has clarified the case for independence, and add that only the SNP offers an alternative to the Tories at Westminster.

In a speech on the second day of the conference in Glasgow, Blackford is expected to say: “The people of Scotland didn’t vote for this Tory Government, they didn’t vote to have a referendum on leaving the EU, they didn’t vote for Brexit, they didn’t vote for a hard Brexit and they certainly didn’t vote to come crashing out of the EU with no deal.”