British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is expected to veto a Scottish bill to grant 16- and 17-year-olds access to gender recognition certificates on Monday.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) passed legislation in December allowing residents to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) without a medical diagnosis and also lowered the age requirement to 16. UK law gives the UK Parliament four weeks to weigh in on Scottish legislation. That deadline will expire on Wednesday and Sunak is expected to veto the bill by then, according to the Express.
“A lot of people are worried about this new bill in Scotland, the impact it will have on the safety of women and children,” Sunak said. “So I think it’s entirely reasonable for the UK government to look at it, understand what the implications are for the safety of women and children in the rest of the UK, and then decide on the appropriate course of action. “
As well as removing the requirement for a medical diagnosis, the Scottish bill would also allow residents to apply for a GRC after just three months of living under a new gender identity, down from the previous two years.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon blasted the previous system as “intrusive, traumatic and dehumanizing”.
Scottish Social Justice Secretary Shona Robinson promised last month that the Scottish Parliament planned to “vigorously challenge” any attempt by Westminster to “undermine the democratic will” of the Scottish government.
UK media have noted that under Section 35 of the Scottish Act 1998, Westminster can ban Scottish legislation if it believes it has an ‘adverse effect’ on laws which are otherwise within the jurisdiction of Parliament. British.
Sunak’s government expressed concern about how the bill will affect single-sex areas for women and children.
“We share the concerns that others – including the Commission for Equality and Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and Girls – have about the draft law, particularly with regard to safety issues for women and children,” a government spokeswoman told Express on Monday.
“We are looking closely at these issues, as well as the ramifications of the Equality Act 2010 and other UK-wide legislation,” she added.
Sunak’s decision would be the first time a British Prime Minister has exercised the power to veto Scottish legislation. The move could spark new anti-British sentiment in Scotland, which has tried and failed to hold an independence referendum Last year.
Fox News’ Peter Aitken contributed to this report.