Following the the UK’s highest court’s ruling that the Government must secure an Act of Parliament before Brexit talks begin, high-profile Eurosceptic MPs raided questions about the role of the Supreme Court and their involvement in the Article 50 case.
Speaking on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme, Iain Duncan Smith asked whether Parliament or the “self-appointed” Supreme Court were superior in decision making matters.
Our independent judiciary is the cornerstone of the rule of law and is vital to our constitution and our freedoms
The former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions said: “They’ve stepped into new territory where they’ve actually told parliament not just that they should do something but actually what they should do.
“I think that leads further down the road to real constitutional issues about who is supreme in this role.”
After the Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday morning, Liz Truss immediately rushed to the aid of the judiciary and backed the “unrivalled” British justice system.
Liz Truss defended the "unrivalled" British justice system after Iain Duncan Smith's comments
The Justice Secretary said: “Our independent judiciary is the cornerstone of the rule of law and is vital to our constitution and our freedoms.
“The reputation of our judiciary is unrivalled the world over, and our Supreme Court justices are people of integrity and impartiality.”
BREXIT: Supreme Court Ruling
Tue, January 24, 2017
Britain's most senior judges ruled that Prime Minister Theresa May does not have the power to trigger the formal process Article 50 for the UK's exit from the European Union without Parliament having a say.
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Issued by the Supreme Court of (top row, from the left) Lord Neuberger, Lord Mance, Lord Kerr, Lord Sumption, (bottom row, from the left) Lady Hale, Lord Clarke, Lord Wilson and Lord Hodge, who agreed with the majority decision that the Government could not trigger Article 50 without Parliamentary approval.
After the ruling Gina Miller said 'Parliament alone is sovereign'
She continued: “While we may not always agree with judgments, it is a fundamental part of any thriving democracy that legal process is followed.
The government has been clear that it will respect the decision of the court.”
Attorney General Jeremy Wright, who led the Government’s legal fight,said that while he was disappointed by the ruling “the Government will comply with the judgment of the court and do all that is necessary to implement it.”
Attorney General Jeremy Wright pictured after the ruling
The news comes as one of the Supreme Court Justices claimed Brexit is a “political matter” and should have been left to the Government to handle.
Lord Hughes, one of the three Justices who sided with Theresa May, said he disagreed with the ruling because “the making and unmaking of treaties is a matter of foreign relations within the competence of the Government”.