Scotland’s Social Justice Secretary has condemned the “increasingly draconian” UK Government after it confirmed legislation to reform the gender recognition process north of the border will be blocked.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack, whose Dumfries and Galloway constituency includes Upper Nithsdale, has announced he will make a Section 35 order – a never before utilised section of the 1998 Scotland Act – to prevent the

Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill from gaining royal assent.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has branded the move a “full-frontal attack on our democratically-elected Scottish Parliament and its ability to make its own decisions on devolved matters”.

But Mr Jack claimed the reforms – which simplify the process for trans people to obtain a gender recognition certificate (GRC) – could have “chilling effects on single-sex spaces” for women.

READ MORE: Jack confirms UK Government to block Scottish gender recognition reforms

He also warned of “significant complications” from having different processes for obtaining a GRC in different parts of the UK.

Shona Robison, Scotland’s social justice secretary, insisted that Scottish ministers are “very, very confident in our position of this legislation being competent”.

Mr Jack, who was due to make a statement in the House of Commons on Tuesday, has claimed the Bill as passed would have an “adverse impact on the operation of Great Britain-wide equalities legislation”.

Ms Robinson told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “We’re very confident it does not impact on UK legislation, and we will take whatever steps we need to ensure the democratic will of the Scottish Parliament is not frustrated.”

The Bill was passed by 86 votes to 39 at Holyrood last month.