DOUGLAS Ross has been lambasted after suggesting Boris Johnson’s plan to renege on last year’s Brexit deal is “responsible”.

The Prime Minister is expected to override parts of the Northern Ireland protocol, part of the 2019 Withdrawal Agreement, with new powers in the UK internal market bill.

European leaders have condemned the “farcical" move, while Michael Russell warned the UK is now “hurtling towards a disastrous Brexit outcome”.

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Ross, who has previously vowed to stand up to Westminster if he believed it was acting against the interests of Scots, was slammed by the SNP after he broke his silence on Johnson’s plans last night.

The Scottish Tory leader claimed during an STV interview that a No-Deal Brexit could offer "great benefits" to Scotland and suggested plotting to renege on the Withdrawal Agreement was "responsible".

Speaking on Scotland Tonight, he denied that a No-Deal Brexit would be disastrous for the Union. “The Prime Minister has been clear at the timeframe facing both the UK and EU negotiators and if we don’t reach an agreement through talks this month and by the next EU council on October 15 then we have to have that deadline,” Ross said.

“But I am reassured from everything I have heard from the Prime Minister that he and the UK Government are determined to get a deal as we leave the transition period and I think there is a lot of effort now to ensure that the EU see the strong position that we are putting forward and the fact we are simply calling for what has been delivered in other deals around the world.”

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On the suggestion from Downing Street that a No-Deal withdrawal could be beneficial for the UK, Ross said: “Well there are obviously opportunities to trade freely around the world, there’s great benefits to our fishing industry in the north east of Scotland and many parts of the country for fisherman and fishing communities to move forward and constrain from the hated common fishing policy that we have seen for the last 40 years.”

Asked about Johnson’s plans to renege on the Withdrawal Agreement, the Scottish Tory leader commented: “I think Number 10 and the Prime Minister have been very clear that these are small clarifications that are effectively a safety net, we are still continuing the discussion with the joint council and European Union, but it is right that we prepare for all eventualities and it’s important that these small corrections and clarifications are in place to preserve the peace that we so rightfully cherish in Northern Ireland.”

The Moray MP added that plans to override the customs deal for Northern Ireland in new legislation are “responsible”.

“Areas that were always going to have to be negotiated through the mechanisms in place,” he told STV. “I still think that can be done and efforts are under way to ensure that it is agreed in that way, but it is also responsible of the government to look to have a safety blanket and backup measures should the first choice and areas we are negotiating on at the moment prove to be unsuccessful.”

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SNP MSP Tom Arthur accused Ross of hypocrisy and condemned him for entertaining the idea of a No-Deal exit.

He told The National: "Businesses simply can’t afford to prepare for a No-Deal Brexit during a global pandemic. There is no way that any politician with a regard for Scottish jobs and livelihoods could or should support that proposal.

"It beggars belief that Douglas Ross has the brass neck to call his party's plans to wreck all prospects of securing a deal with the EU and re-impose a hard border on the island of Ireland 'responsible.'

"It's high time the Tories put their responsibility to the economy, jobs and families struggling during this period ahead of their damaging Brexit agenda."

READ MORE: Douglas Ross accuses SNP of 'treachery' as Westminster blames Holyrood over Brexit

Talks between the EU and the UK resume today, with Johnson reportedly set to tell Brussels’ top Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, that the Withdrawal Agreement doesn’t make sense.

According to the Telegraph, the Prime Minister believes the deal he signed off on less than a year ago is “contradictory”.