The British government decided on Monday to block a Scottish law making it easier to recognize gender reassignment, raising the prospect of a legal battle between London and the independence government in Edinburgh.
According to the Minister responsible for Scotland in the British government, Alister Jack, this law, adopted on December 22 by the Scottish Parliament, would have a “opposite impact on the operation of equality legislation» throughout the Britain. “My ruling today is about the impact of the legislation on the operation of equality protections“, he underlined.
SEE ALSO – Scottish independence: ‘Democracy is at stake’, says Sturgeon after referendum rejected
“Attack” on the Scottish Parliament
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon denounced on Twitter a “frontal attack on our democratically elected Scottish Parliament and its ability to make its own decisions“. The Scottish Governmentwill defend this law” and “the scottish parliament“, she added, denouncing this “Westminster veto“.
The text introduced by the independence government removes the requirement for a medical and psychiatric diagnosis when applying for a gender recognition certificate. It reduces the period an applicant must live in their acquired gender from two years to three months, with an additional three-month reflection period, and raises to 16 (from 18 previously) the minimum age for applying for this certificate.
The government of the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak thus becomes the first to use this blocking mechanism, risking triggering a legal and political standoff, and this shortly after the Scottish government was recently denied the right by the Supreme Court to organize a new independence referendum .