TORY MSP Liam Kerr has refused to discuss the UK Government’s plans to break international law in a bid to override the Brexit deal.

The Scottish Tory justice spokesperson was “flailing around” as Good Morning Scotland’s Gary Robertson asked if he was “embarrassed” by ministers’ behaviour.

UK Government ministers are set to add new laws that re-interpret the withdrawal treaty – agreed with Brussels earlier this year – to the Internal Market Bill, due to be tabled in the Commons today.

That legislation has been branded a “power grab” by the Scottish Government and has been fiercely criticised by all Holyrood parties besides the Scottish Tories.

READ MORE: Tories admit they're going to break law 'in limited way' with Brexit power grab

The legislation aims to ensure goods from any nation of the UK can have unfettered access to any other nation. However, the Tory Government has made clear they want to change state aid rules agreed as part of the Northern Ireland protocol – intended to prevent a return to checks at the border with the Irish Republic.

The Northern Ireland Secretary admitted in the Commons yesterday that international law would be broken in a “very specific and limited way”.

Scotland’s Constitution Secretary Michael Russell said the legislation showed the the UK is “not a genuine partnership of equals”.

Appearing on the BBC programme this morning, Kerr was asked: “As justice spokesman are you embarrassed by the behaviour of the UK Government in terms of breaking international law?”

Kerr, who had previously been discussing the Hate Crime Bill will the presenters, replied: “I think if, the important thing here, is we have a bill before us that has got 2000 responses that won’t be, that risks not being properly scrutinised, and we end up in a Named Person situation … “

Robertson again tried to shift the conversation, telling the MSP: “And you have another bill before you which is of course on EU withdrawal.

“The Scottish Government says it will not provide legislative consent. Given that we know the Government at Westminster has admitted it will break international law is that a bill that you can support?”

But Kerr could not provide an answer to the question. He told the show: “Well look at everything on its merits brought before the Scottish Parliament on matters that are within the competence of the Scottish Parliament and I shall, as I do with everything and particularly in the debate today I shall listen to any debate and do what I think is right for the people of Scotland.”

Robertson made one last effort to get an answer out of the MSP. “But the Government breaching international law would concern you as justice spokesman surely?”

Kerr refused once more to address the matter. “I think that anything coming forward before the Scottish Parliament in a Hate Crime Bill that I’ve called today and I’m really very keen to discuss because it’s an extremely important matter that we get right and that is what I’ll be voting on today.”

SNP depute leader Keith Brown commented: "Liam Kerr MSP flailing around on @BBCRadioScot as he is asked, repeatedly, if, as Tory Justice Spokesperson, he is troubled by a Tory Government deliberately seeking to break international law. He wouldn’t answer."

The UK Government’s open admission that it intends to break international law has drawn fierce criticism.

Nathalie Loiseau, an ally of president Macron and MEP on the Brexit co-ordinating group of the European Parliament, said yesterday: “You don’t ‘break international law in a specific and limited way’. You do break it or you don’t. You can’t be half illegal, as you can’t be half pregnant.”

Following Lewis’s comments yesterday, Russell said: “This is a shabby blueprint that will open the door to bad trade deals and unleashes an assault on devolution the like we have not experienced since the Scottish Parliament was established.

“We cannot, and will not, allow that to happen.”

READ MORE: Explanation call as Tory MSP Liam Kerr helps party donor’s business

Yesterday the UK’s top legal civil servant, Jonathan Jones, quit over the planned Brexit deal changes – and SNP MP Joanna Cherry QC has called on the Advocate General for Scotland to follow suit.

The MP said: “Richard Keen as the UK Government’s law officer for Scotland stood by the prorogation of parliament by Boris Johnson’s government.

“That decision was found to be unlawful by a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court.

“Less than a year later the UK Government is intent on breaching its international treaty obligations under the Withdrawal Agreement. I would not expect Law Officers to remain in their post where the Government they advise proposes to take unlawful action.

“Richard Keen should the protect integrity of Scots law and governance, he should show the same courage of his convictions as Jonathan Jones the head of the UK Government’s legal division and quit.”