DAVID Davis today begins his Brexit charm offensive in Scotland as Theresa May is warned by her continental partners to expect “hard negotiations” in the forthcoming talks to take Britain out of the European Union.

At Westminster a row broke out after it emerged that Jeremy Corbyn had invited European socialist leaders to an alternative Brexit summit just weeks before the Prime Minister is due to fire the starting gun on the process for Britain to leave the EU. The Labour leader was accused by the Tories of trying to “talk Britain down from the sidelines”.

This morning in Glasgow the Brexit secretary will be in listening mode when he holds a business roundtable as well as talks with Michael Russell, the Scottish Government minister for UK negotiations on Scotland’s place in Europe.

Read more: Scotland will be 'half way out of EU' before a vote on independence

UK Government sources stressed how Mr Davis was keen to “hear the views of Scottish business leaders and the Scottish Government to make sure they are taken into account as we form our negotiating position”.

The Scottish visit, the Brexit secretary’s first, comes just days before Nicola Sturgeon meets the Prime Minister in London for their first face-to-face meeting on the issue of Britain leaving the EU on Monday.

Whitehall is already bracing itself for the First Minister to emerge from the two-hour meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee[JMC], expressing deep disappointment at the response from the PM.

On Wednesday, Robert Goodwill, the immigration minister, and David Mundell, the Scottish secretary, made clear the UK Government would not agree to a separate immigration policy for Scotland; one of the key demands Ms Sturgeon has already laid out ahead of the JMC talks.

However, yesterday, David Jones, the Brexit minister seemed to take a different tack by suggesting there might be scope for a separate Scottish deal on migration.

Read more: Scotland will be 'half way out of EU' before a vote on independence

He told MPs: “As I have indicated, immigration is a reserved matter, but as I have also indicated, we will continue to have discussions with all the devolved administrations, including the Scottish Government, and there will, in due course as the matter develops, be discussions about where the powers should lie.”

Mr Jones’s remarks came as the City of London Corporation published a report about exploring the possibility of creating a “regional visa” scheme for all foreigners seeking to live and work in the UK; it would emulate similar projects operating in Canada and Australia.

Such a scheme, said the corporation, offered the “potential to allow regional decision-makers to assess and address the immigration needs of their region in a post-Brexit world in a way that would support local economies and overall UK competitiveness”.

Noting how Scotland was projected to experience the most severe decline in local population, the report said a regional visa scheme would “allow much greater local control to address the issues of a shrinking local workforce and an ageing population, while ensuring the resources are put in place locally to support the necessary infrastructure”.

Read more: Scotland will be 'half way out of EU' before a vote on independence

Meantime in Brussels, Mrs May was warned by French President Francois Hollande to expect a tough time if Britain opted for a hard Brexit ie leaving the single market. He told reporters: “I say very firmly, if Mrs May wants a hard Brexit, the negotiations will be hard."

The PM, who was due to give a Brexit update over dinner, stressed ahead of it that she had a “very clear message” for the EU; that is, Britain was leaving the EU, would continue to play a full role until it left and would be a “strong, independent partner” after it had left.

Meantime, Mr Corbyn, also in Brussels for meetings with fellow socialist leaders, emerged to announce he had invited them to an alternative Brexit summit in London in February, just weeks before Article 50 is triggered by the UK Government. President Hollande could be among those attending.

Stressing how he wanted to reach out to EU leaders to underline Britain’s desire for the closest possible relationship, the Labour leader said he had detected they were “more than a bit disappointed that the British Government has been very much less than clear with them about what Brexit actually means".

Tory MP Maria Caulfield said: "If Jeremy Corbyn was serious about making a success of leaving the EU he would get behind the Prime Minister's negotiation not try and talk Britain down from the sidelines.”