The National:

YOU could almost feel sorry for the Scottish Tories at First Minister's Questions these days.

Well, perhaps not. But the Brexit debate has them performing such acrobatic feats that they'd make Team GB.

Combined with their ceaseless efforts to stop the SNP obsessing about "independence" by bringing up independence at every opportunity they can – a curious tactic – their lack of self-awareness is coming to the fore.

READ MORE: Analysis of FMQs exposes Tory hypocrisy on independence

Scottish Tory interim leader Jackson Carlaw opened proceedings at FMQs by questioning Sturgeon on the best deal for Scotland's fishermen

"The Tories raising fishing today is something of an early Christmas present in a political sense," she laughed. And indeed, it got more and more brutal for Carlaw, in what became a heated exchange.

Let's start with the basics.

Carlaw urged the First Minister to get behind the draft Withdrawal Agreement drawn up by Theresa May, insisting this is "the only deal on the table".

That would be the same draft Withdrawal Agreement a substantial portion of his own party opposes. And a deal that, if Mundell and Ruth Davidson had any integrity, would follow their promises to resign over.

READ MORE: David Mundell slated in Commons for failure to quit Cabinet

He claimed the SNP will vote against this at Westminster in the hope it will deliver "more chaos, more upheaval and all in the hope that it will deliver her obsession with a second independence referendum".

We're not sure how Westminster could get much more chaotic, but we'll let that slide.

Sturgeon hit back: "He talks about the SNP using Brexit to advance the case for independence – let me say to him Brexit does that all by itself, it doesn't need any help from the SNP.

"And that threadbare line is just a device for the Tories because the opposite is true, they are exploiting independence to avoid hard questions on Brexit, it will not wash.

READ MORE: Prime time TV is clearly where Tory MP Ross Thomson belongs

"People see right through it."

That wasn't the most outrageous part of their back-and-forth, though.

The Scottish Fishermen's Federation back the deal, Carlaw said. "What the First Minister is actually saying is she does know better than them."

He continued: "The plain fact is for all their posturing and pompous outrage, the SNP policy is to rejoin the EU and therefore because there is no way round this to rejoin the Common Fisheries Policy."

The First Minister quoted Alistair Sinclair, co-ordinator of the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation, in return.

“I really wouldn’t trust the Tories as far as I could throw them. Whenever it comes to fishing, it’s always been a sacrificial lamb.”

Does Carlaw know better than the Scottish Creel Fishermen's Federation?

But let's be clear on this. Carlaw is attacking the First Minister because her position on EU membership would mean staying in the Common Fisheries Policy.

Carlaw's position, and Scots Tory leader Ruth Davidson's position, was to Remain in the EU. Ruth Davidson has said she would campaign for Remain if there was a second vote.

In other words, their position on EU membership would mean staying in the Common Fisheries Policy. Exactly what he was attacking Sturgeon for.

The hypocrisy is astounding. He also said the SNP's position was despite all their "posturing and pompous outrage. The Scottish Tory MSP did so with a straight face.

The First Minister concluded in her reply: "The Scottish Tories yet again have sold our Scottish fishermen. Shame on them."

A smirk emerged on Carlaw's face as he opened his response. "Shame on you, concludes the First Minister. if shame was a currency the First Minister's pockets would be bursting. If shame was a currency she might even be able to fill the black hole in her independence financial plans as well!"

If you listen very, very carefully, you might hear one or two Tory MSPs let out the faintest laugh.

Perhaps this passage from the First Minister sums it up best, though: "There's something starting to become very clear at First Minister's Questions. The redder Jackson Carlaw's face gets, the more he points wildly across the chamber, the more trouble he is in.

"He asks me to support a deal that is bad for Scotland and bad for the UK, when the Prime Minister can't even get her own party to support that deal."

And the Tories say we're meant to trust them to defend Scotland's interests.