With the government’s case – what there was of it – complete, the rest of the afternoon was handed over to Gina Miller’s barrister, Lord Pannick. Seldom has a man been less well named. Pannick exudes a sense of calm and has the uncanny ability to make you think you understand legal doublespeak even when you don’t.
A Pannick attack is a thing of zen-like beauty. He doesn’t need to shuffle his papers because he never forgets a reference. Nor does he ever miss a beat. In his hands, a legal submission is more a cosy bedside story than adversarial confrontation.
“If the government is right,” he began, “the 1972 European Communities Act has a lesser status than the Dangerous Dogs Act.”
You could see the tension ease away from the 11 justices. They knew they were safe in Pannick’s hands and whereas their line of questioning to the government’s barristers had been provocative and sharp, they now turned into gentle pussycats.