Gender laws in Scotland could allow people to abuse female-only spaces across UK, experts warn

CONTROVERSIAL gender laws in Scotland could allow people to abuse female-only spaces across the rest of the UK, experts say.

Nicola Sturgeon’s new law to make it easier for people to legally change their gender could have consequences for Brits south of the border.

Nicola Sturgeon's new legislation makes it easier for people to legally change gender

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Nicola Sturgeon’s new legislation makes it easier for people to legally change genderCredit: Getty

Former Advocate General for Scotland, Lord Keen KC, says the new law would clash with the UK’s Equality Act – with unforeseen circumstances.

He today backs calls from the Policy Exchange think tank for Rishi Sunak to use a section 35 order to block Royal Assent for the bill.

The PM has refused to rule out the move if ministers can’t find a way to make the two laws work together.

Lord Keen said there were “real and widespread concerns about its impact upon the law of the United Kingdom” and it would be “constitutionally improper” for the UK Government to allow it come into effect.

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And he hit out at the Scottish Government – saying they had been “opaque and at times contradictory”.

The think tank argues the changes could make it easier for biological males to abuse the system – and try to gain access to female-only shortlists and scholarships, or female-only spaces.

And they say it could be easier for people to fraudulently obtain a certificate – opening the door to abuse from sex offenders.

The new law will make it easier for transgender people to apply for a gender recognition certificate to legally change gender without a diagnosis of gender dysphoria from a doctor.

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Critics are worried the legislation could open the door for violent males to put women at risk.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Bill as passed is within legislative competence, and was backed by an overwhelming majority, with support from members of 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.

“We have always been clear that the Bill does not impact on the Equality Act, and the Bill as passed puts that position beyond doubt.”

But a UK Government spokesperson said: “We share the concerns that others – including the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and Girls – have with the Bill, particularly around safety issues for women and children.

“We are looking closely at these issues, and also the ramifications for the 2010 Equality Act and other UK wide legislation.

“Our concerns include the protection of single sex spaces, and the checks and balances included in the process of gaining a legal gender recognition certificate.

“No final decisions have been made and we are considering our next steps.”