Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government has blocked the Scottish Parliament’s gender recognition bill. UK ministers say the legislation, which would make it easier for people to change their legal gender, would conflict with equality laws. But do you think Mr. Sunak made the right move in blocking the law? Vote in our poll.
Scottish secretary Alister Jack announced that Westminster would use section 35 of the Scotland Act 1998 for the first time to block the gender recognition bill following a review by UK government lawyers.
UK ministers raised concerns about the “significant impact” it would have on UK-wide equalities law. Mr Jack said he has “not taken this decision lightly” and that he will be “constructive” if the Scottish Government puts forward an amended bill.
READ MORE: Tories block Scottish law for first time in devolved history
The “nuclear option” stops the bill from going for royal assent and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has slammed the decision claiming there were “no grounds” to block the legislation, vowing to defend the bill. She tweeted: “This is a full-frontal attack on our democratically elected Scottish Parliament and its ability to make its own decisions on devolved matters. @scotgov will defend the legislation and stand up for Scotland’s parliament. If this Westminster veto succeeds, it will be the first of many.”
Scottish Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison criticized the move as “outrageous”, arguing that the bill does not affect UK-wide equalities law. She said the “political” move demonstrated the UK Government’s “contempt for devolution”.
So what do YOU think? Was Westminster right to block Scotland’s gender recognition bill? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comment section below.