Latest updates: Gillian Keegan, education secretary, says 16 not too young for some people to change gender but government was right to intervene
In his statement last night Alister Jack, the Scottish secretary, said the UK government was blocking the Scottish gender recognition reform bill because it might have an adverse impact on UK equality legislation. But he said the UK goverment would be willing to work with the Scottish government to ensure a revised Scottish bill did not present this problem. He said:
If the Scottish government chooses to bring an amended bill back for reconsideration in the Scottish parliament, I hope we can work together to find a constructive way forward that both respects devolution and the operation of UK Parliament legislation.
Using the section 35 nuclear option, I think, reveals that they don’t have a legal basis to challenge it, and this is more about the politics than it is about the legislation.
And I don’t think the UK government are going to come forward with a suggestions of a tweak here or a tweak there. They are fundamentally against this bill. They don’t like this bill.