The prospect of Theresa May going on post Brexit trade missions with Nicola Sturgeon has been raised after David Mundell insisted that businesses would welcome such a “combined approach” involving the two governments.

The Scottish Secretary’s suggestion came as the UK Government signalled a more inclusive approach to future trade deals that would involve stronger participation by the Scottish and Welsh administrations. An intergovernmental concordat, setting out the proposals, is due to be published later this week.

Appearing before the Commons Scottish Affairs Committee, Mr Mundell told MPs he would welcome a move to more joint trade delegations as this would produce better value for taxpayers.

It was pointed out how on some occasions UK and Scottish Government representatives had visited the same country but separately.

“I am very open and conducive to working together,” declared Mr Mundell. “There is continued scope for closer working. I’m sure that’s what business and industry bodies want.”

Later, when quizzed about the possibility of the Prime Minister and First Minister going on joint trade missions, the Scottish Secretary told The Herald: "I see no reason why that shouldn't happen. Businesses shouldn't have to choose whether they work with the UK Government or the Scottish Government. I see no impediment to that...Businesses would welcome that combined approach."

George Hollingbery, the International Trade Minister, giving evidence alongside Mr Mundell, stressed that at present the UK Government “engaged widely” with the devolved administrations but suggested there would be more liaison going forward post Brexit, referring to the intergovernmental concordat, which, he explained, would “incorporate” the Scottish Government into the way the UK Government approached new trade deals.

Asked if this meant Scottish Government ministers would be inside the negotiating room, Mr Hollingbery replied: “The offer we are making is a full and fair one and that will satisfy any reasonable observer that the devolved authorities are having a full part in the process of not only creating the outlines of our future trade agreements but also having a role further down the line.”

The SNP’s Pete Wishart, who chairs the committee, noted how people were waiting with “great excitement” about what was about to be announced.

However, the minister noted how one or two of the Scottish Government’s proposals to be involved in post Brexit free trade agreements were at the “far end of the bargaining scale” and that their suggestion of the need to get Edinburgh’s consent was “not on the table and will never be on the table”.

Mr Hollingbery later stressed: “It’s not right, however close we want to bring the devolved administrations, to take their advice and for them to represent the interests of their particular areas and responsibilities, to allow them to have an effective veto at any stage. This is a UK competence and will remain a UK competence.”