Plans being developed by ministers will prevent Nicola Sturgeon’s new gender self-identification certificate from being used in the rest of the UK.
Kemi Badenoch, the minister of equalities, wants to make sure that the new Gender Recognition Reform law in Scotland can not be used to circumvent laws enacted in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
There have been worries that the SNP-led administration’s relaxation of gender recognition laws will encourage “gender tourism,” in which individuals come to Scotland in order to obtain gender recognition certificates (GRCs) that they would not have been able to obtain elsewhere in the United Kingdom.
In Sturgeon’s proposed new law, those seeking a gender transition will be able to file for a certificate at age 16 rather of 18 and will have less time to live with their newly acquired gender.
In order to make sure that the inspections are rigorous enough, Badenoch is rumoured to be planning to revise the list of nations from which the Government recognises a GRC.
When the list was last updated in 2011, Latvia and Montenegro were removed.
Ministers will have the chance to ensure that those holding a GRC from Scotland are no longer automatically recognised in the rest of the UK, but instead they would have to apply for a fresh certificate, thanks to the new review.
“This is just a procedural change and it was envisaged in the 2004 act,” a UK government source told The Times.
Alister Jack, the Scottish Secretary, is investigating the legality of the Gender Recognition Reform Bill at the same time.
The Government could take legal action to prevent the Bill from ever becoming a law at all.