Should Rishi Sunak block Scotland’s gender bill? – YOU VOTED

Sturgeon could 'water down gender law changes’ says pundit

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Scotland recently became the first part of the UK to introduce a self-identification system for people who want to change their legal gender. The legislation passed through Holyrood in a 86 to 39 vote on Thursday, December 22. Yet Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has since confirmed that the Government can stop the new law, and Westminster is reportedly considering blocking the Bill from getting to the stage of royal assent. A new poll has found that a staggering 95 percent of readers support this happening.

Westminster has 28 days until after the vote to decide whether to trigger the “nuclear option” and prohibit the legislation’s progression. While gender recognition is devolved to Holyrood, the new Bill would affect legislation which is reserved for Westminster. Under the Scotland Act 1998, the UK Government can intervene in national law.

On Friday, December 23, during a visit to a homeless shelter in London, Mr Sunak said: “Lots of people have got concerns about this new Bill in Scotland, about the impact it will have on women’s and children’s safety. 

“So I think it is completely reasonable for the UK government to have a look at it, understand what the consequences are for women and children’s safety in the rest of the UK, and then decide on what the appropriate course of action is.”

Reforms to the Gender Recognition Act mean the age at which people can apply for a certificate is lowered from 18 to 16. Scottish secretary Alister Jack expressed his own concerns when he explained: “We share the concerns that many people have regarding certain aspects of this bill and in particular the safety issues for women and children.

“We will look closely at that and also the ramifications for the 2010 Equality Act and other UK-wide legislation in the coming weeks – up to and including a Section 35 order stopping the bill going for royal assent if necessary.”

In a poll that ran from 11.30am on Friday, December 23, to 7.30am on Wednesday, December 28, asked readers: “Should Rishi Sunak block Nicola Sturgeon’s new Gender Recognition Bill?”

Overall, 10,728 readers cast their votes with the overwhelming majority, 95 percent (10,197 people), answering “yes” in support of Mr Sunak blocking the legislation.

Whereas five percent (489 people) said “no” he should not, and a further 42 people said they did not know either way.

Hundreds of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers shared their thoughts on the Gender Recognition Bill.

Many readers argued in favour of the Gender Recognition Bill being blocked in Westminster, with username 0psM writing: “Most definitely it should be stopped.”

Username Pugwash101 said: “This law will harm the very people it is supposedly trying to protect.”

Username legionair added: “Absolutely. This is the most ridiculous bill ever to have been passed.”

Another, username JL77, said: “Absolutely, Rishi should block.”


Independence to ‘compromise’ UK security as Putin eyes up Scotland [LATEST]
Gender identity just another pawn in Sturgeon’s independence strategy [COMMENT]
Badenoch slams Sturgeon over ‘disappointing’ Gender Recognition Bill [INSIGHT]

Meanwhile, username KevinRalston said: “This is not a Governmental decision. It is a social decision and should be put to the public vote.”

Other readers commented that the bill suggested devolution was handing too many powers to the devolved nations, like esername Geordieboy2, who said: “It’s about time we got rid of devolution.”

However, username Beanyboy2802 hit back: “Difficult one. He definitely shouldn’t back it, that’s for sure – the law is nonsense, it should never have been brought forward for consideration, let alone voted through.

“But if the law covers only a devolved area, he shouldn’t block it. That’s the point of devolution – I don’t support devolution at all, but it should be allowed to operate as it was intended.”

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The bill as passed is within legislative competence, and was backed by an overwhelming majority, with support from all parties. Any attempt by the UK Government to undermine the democratic will of the Scottish Parliament will be vigorously contested by the Scottish Government.”

A minority of readers thought the legislation should be passed, like username Vjem2111, who wrote: “I think leave the Scots to it. At the end of the day, all Westminster has to do is make clear whatever Scotland does, doesn’t mean it has legal ground in the rest of the UK.”

Likewise, username Davewest1956 said: “Let her do what she likes but keep it illegal in the rest of the country, so if someone changes their identity in Scotland they don’t get the benefits in the rest of the country that they would in Scotland.”

Former Prime Minister Theresa May said she was disappointed the changes were not being considered for England. Ms May put forward plans to enable transgender people to change their birth certificate without a medical diagnosis during her premiership, but these were later ditched by her successor Boris Johnson.

She told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme on Monday: “The very fact that I put the proposal forward shows that that was something that I thought was important to do, particularly to take some of the medical aspects out of this, but the Government has looked again at it and has taken the decision that it has.”

Source: Read Full Article