TRANSGENDER Scots will have to apply for a separate Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) for their acquired gender to be recognised across the rest of the UK under changes to be made by ministers.

Rishi Sunak and his government have already said they will be looking closely at the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill passed overwhelmingly by MSPs before Christmas and could block it from being given Royal Assent rather than referring the matter to the Supreme Court.

But it has now emerged the Westminster government may simply remove Scotland from a list of countries whose GRCs meet sufficient checks and balances for people who want to change their legal gender, according to the Times.

The list – last updated in 2011 when Montenegro and Latvia were removed - is kept under review to ensure countries that have a less “rigorous” process for changing legal gender are wiped off.

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People with GRCs from countries not on the list of approved counties and territories have to apply for a UK certificate in order for their gender to be recognised in all its nations.

Kemi Badenoch, the equalities minister, has launched a review to “update the list” and government sources said this would be carried out before any move is made to block the bill via the Scotland Act.

LGBT charity Stonewall has said any interference from Westminster will not only impact on the UK’s international standing but also “undermine” the relationship with the Scottish Government.

The bill will make it easier for trans people to obtain a GRC by removing the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria.

It will also lower the age people need to be to apply for one from 18 to 16 and applicants will only need to have lived in their acquired gender for three months, or six if they are under 18.

The proposed move by the UK Government aims to combat fears the bill could lead to people travelling to Scotland to obtain a GRC and bypass stricter rules south of the border.

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The Scottish Government has said it will “vigorously” contest any challenge to the bill, as Stonewall stated that intervention from the UK would be “disastrous” for trans people in Scotland.

A UK government source told the paper: “This is just a procedural change and it was envisaged in the 2004 Act. It is not a new measure, it was done in 2011 and we are updating it for 2023.

“We are not discriminating against people from foreign countries with GRCs. If they arrive in this country with one from a country that has a less rigorous system than the UK, we’re saying you should apply for a UK GRC, which is readily available.”

It is understood Scotland Secretary Alister Jack has received legal advice on how the UK can block the reforms. The National has approached the Scotland Office for confirmation, but a spokesperson declined to comment.