THE Scottish Government has issued a statement on the Gender Recognition Reform Bill following an interview with John Swinney on Sky News on Friday morning.

The bill, which makes it easier for trans people to get a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) was passed in Holyrood in 2022 but was later blocked from becoming law by a section 35 order from the UK Government.

When asked by Sky News presenter Wilfred Frost whether the Scottish Government was going to “abandon” the policy, the First Minister (below) said: “We quite simply can’t proceed with it. It’s legislation that can’t be implemented, so we cannot take that forward.”

The National:

However, the Scottish Government has since issued a statement after Swinney’s response was interpreted as confirmation that the legislation would be abandoned.

Following the interview, a Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The GRR Bill was passed by the Scottish Parliament. If the UK Government lifted its legal block – the section 35 order – it would become law.

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“The problem is that the current UK government has said they will not.

“The Scottish Government’s position is simple – UK Government should lift their section 35 order.

“They have made it clear however that they will not, and until they do, it is simply not legal to implement the legislation.”

The National: SNP’s Kate Forbes arrives at the main chamber for the vote for the new First Minister at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Picture date: Tuesday March 28, 2023.

The question arose following the appointment of Kate Forbes as Deputy First Minister, which led some members of the SNP to raise concerns over the party's commitment to LGBT+ people.

In the same interview with Sky News, Swinney said: “I think what’s the most important thing that I can say is that to LGBT people in our society, the Scottish Government is on their side, we have been on their side, and we will be on their side in the years to come.”