And the award for the biggest meltdown over the Brexit ruling goes to… Iain Duncan Smith

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With the UK’s hysterical pro-Brexit press, it was a close call. But the award for the biggest meltdown over the Brexit ruling goes to Iain Duncan Smith.

On 24 January, the Supreme Court rejected Theresa May’s taxpayer-funded appeal against the ruling that parliament must vote on Article 50. No longer can the Prime Minister bypass parliament and proceed with Brexit on her own terms. Many people consider this a basic affirmation of parliamentary sovereignty.

But the former Work and Pensions Secretary went more than a little haywire:

I’m disappointed that they’ve decided to tell Parliament how to run its business.


Meanwhile, on Twitter, ‘The Secret Barrister’ blew apart his reaction:

The lawyer went on to humiliate the sitting Conservative MP through a series of statements:

2. There’s no issue about who is supreme between Parliament and Supreme Court. It’s Parliament. That is basic constitutional law.

Hold on Duncan Smith, wasn’t the vote to uphold the supremacy of parliament? He continued:

3. The Supreme Court is not self-appointed. It was established by Parliament by section 23 of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005.


4. There is nothing intriguing about dissenting opinions in Supreme Court (or House of Lords as was) judgments. Very common.

But the lawyer says that Duncan Smith’s reaction is a basic misunderstanding of what happened:

5. The Court expressly did not tell Parliament how to run its business. It clarified what the govt could not do unilaterally.

And it looks like pretty much everything the former austerity architect said is wrong:

6. There is no new territory. Not even something that looks a little bit like new territory. As the judgment makes plain.

The Secret Barrister finished by saying:

The only ‘real constitutional issues’ are those arising in IDS’ own imagination, born of his own unstymied ignorance and base stupidity.

The Express freaked out too

UKIP-supporting The Express also reported the Supreme Court ruling as if it was a partisan political opinion rather than a constitutional ruling:

Meanwhile, The Sun wrote that the judges “threw” May’s “plans of taking Britain out of the EU into chaos”.

And UKIP’s only MP said we should replace the entire House of Lords with 800 new, presumably pro-hard Brexit, peers if the upper chamber tries to “subvert the will of the people”.

The winner

It’s no wonder that the Tories like peddling the idea that people have had enough of experts. They have some high-profile MPs in their ranks who are quite the opposite.

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