Deadline approaches for Rishi Sunak to decide on blocking Scotland’s gender law

The deadline for Rishi Sunak to decide whether to block Scotland’s gender laws will arrive this week as he considers legal advice about its impact. Multiple reports have

suggested that the legal advice the UK Government has received will provide the Prime Minister with the cover he requires to trigger Section 35 of the Scotland Act. If he

does so, he will become the first No 10 incumbent to use the blocking mechanism. The Scotland Act, which established a devolved Scottish government and parliament, gives

Westminster four weeks to consider bills passed by Holyrood that could have an “adverse effect on the operation of the law”. Our concerns include the protection of single

sex spaces, and the checks and balances included in the process of gaining a legal gender recognition certificateUK Government spokeswoman With the Gender Recognition Reform

(Scotland) Bill passed by MSPs on December 22, the deadline will be reached on Wednesday. The Bill will allow trans people to obtain a gender recognition certificate (GRC)

without the need for a medical diagnosis — a process known as “self-identification”. It will also permit 16 and 17-year-olds to apply for a GRC for the first time, and would

reduce the amount of time a person has to live in their acquired gender before they can be granted the document. According to the Financial Times, Mr Sunak — who said during

a visit to Scotland last week that he was concerned by the gender law — is preparing to block the bill from entering the statute books, with a decision coming as soon as

Monday.