IAN Blackford and Neil Gray are set to join the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election campaign trail to speak to businesses about the impact of Brexit.

The former Westminster group leader and Wellbeing Economy Secretary will join SNP candidate Katy Loudon in Burnside, South Lanarkshire, on Monday.

The trio will speak to a number of small businesses as the campaign for the Westminster seat heats up, with a date for the ballot set for October 5.

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Blackford, who was appointed business ambassador for the party when he stood down as Westminster leader, said businesses in the area “deserve better”.

We told how Loudon (below) insisted that both Scottish Labour and the Tories ignoring Brexit in their economic plans will “not fly” with voters in the area, who have been hit hard by the impact of the UK leaving the EU.

The SNP says that since Brexit, South Lanarkshire has lost out on a staggering £146 million in EU imports and exports, as well as almost £10m in direct EU funding.

The National: SNP candidate Katy Loudon

An analysis from Bloomberg Economics found Brexit had cost the UK as a whole £100 billion a year and caused a third of the UK’s food price inflation.

Mark Carney, the former governor of the Bank of England, has also previously said that Brexit is to blame for the soaring inflation driving the cost of living crisis in the UK.

Loudon and the SNP have been focussing their campaign in the area on the impact of the cost of living crisis in recent weeks, as well as Labour’s U-turn on scrapping the two-child benefit cap.

The SNP candidate has said she will introduce a Private Member’s Bill to scrap the rape clause within 100 days if she wins the seat.

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Speaking ahead of the visit, MP Blackford said: "Westminster has trashed the UK economy and inflicted long-term damage on businesses across Scotland, South Lanarkshire and Rutherglen and Hamilton West. They deserve better.

“Leaving the EU has contributed to food inflation soaring and left businesses facing uncertainty and expensive red tape - but Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar are happy to ignore reality as the Labour party continues to back Brexit.

“A vote for the SNP’s Katy Loudon in the upcoming by-election is a vote for a strong voice at Westminster, standing against Brexit and Westminster policies that are damaging to our local businesses and community.”

Loudon added: “While the SNP Scottish Government are championing businesses here in Rutherglen and Hamilton West, with policies such as the ‘New Deal’ and ‘Shop Local’ campaign, Westminster's cost-of-living crisis and Brexit is causing long-term damage.

The National: Stephen Flynn has also been on the campaign trailStephen Flynn has also been on the campaign trail (Image: PA)

"Small businesses, who make up the backbone of Scotland's economy, have particularly felt the brunt.

“Businesses have suffered as a result of decisions made at Westminster by Westminster parties, and that includes the decision to drag Scotland out of the EU despite us overwhelmingly voting against it. South Lanarkshire alone rejected Brexit by 63%.

“A vote for the SNP in Rutherglen and Hamilton West is a vote to reject the failure of Brexit, tackle the cost of living crisis in full and rejoin the world's largest single market in the EU, as an independent Scotland." We previously told how Loudon said that voters in the constituency were picking up on Labour’s candidate Michael Shanks flip-flopping over various policies.

Shanks was accused of being “all over the place” on the EU after deleting tweets relating to the bloc that were almost a decade old as the campaign heats up.