WESTMINSTER’S attempts to block gender recognition reform should shock everyone who believes in devolution and the Scottish Parliament.

I remember as the Holyrood debate stretched on until 1am, I found myself thinking: “I’ll stay here all f**king night if I have to.”

In my defence, we were all very tired. The debates about the Gender Recognition Reform Bill had gone late into the night. But though the Tories tried every cynical delaying mechanism and wrecking tactic in their arsenal, after three long days of debate, our parliament finally voted to make it a reality.

There are few debates that have lasted so long or attracted so much poison and bile, but, as the Presiding Officer read out the final numbers, we felt an immense sense of pride and relief.

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On one hand, it was a small and simple administrative step that is already very common across the world, but on the other, it represented a long-overdue change that will make a big difference to a marginalised and vulnerable community that has been under fire for far too long.

The bill didn’t just pass with a majority, it was, by any definition, a super-majority. MSPs from all parties came together to ensure it passed overwhelmingly.

We backed it despite no end of scaremongering and negativity. Whether it was the smears and innuendo from Douglas Ross and his Tory colleagues or the hysterical campaign of disinformation being waged in the right-wing press, we did what we knew was right.

It is easy to see it as a story of division and polarisation, with the UK Government and other reactionary forces using language that was reminiscent of the worst of the Section 28 debates. But, at the same time, there was also a far more positive story to tell.

Because with MSPs from across our Parliament putting our differences to one side to work together, there was a strong sense of unity over common ground.

The National: Jamie Greene MSP

Whether it was the bold leadership of the then equalities minister Shona Robison, who spearheaded the bill, or the excellent contributions of my Scottish Green colleague Maggie Chapman, Labour’s Monica Lennon and Mercedes Villalba or even the thoughtful engagement of Tory justice spokesperson Jamie Greene (above), we also saw the best of our Parliament.

There was applause in the Chamber that day. But it was short-lived. Almost as soon as the bill had been passed, Westminster’s Scottish Secretary Alister Jack made it clear that he would do anything he could to block it.

Now, less than four months later, our Parliament and our devolution are being tested like never before.

Make no mistake, Jack’s decision to use a Section 35 order to overrule the vote is an attack on trans rights and our democracy. If his veto is successful, we can guarantee that the Tories will feel empowered to do the same again.

Whether it is the Deposit Return Scheme, my disposable vape ban, a ban on conversion practices or our environmental standards, any other area of devolution could be under threat.

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That is why the announcement that the Scottish Government will challenge Westminster’s veto is so welcome and essential.

Because it comes at a time when Downing Street isn’t just refusing to advance the rights of trans people, it is actively trying to roll them back.

Only last week, the UK Equalities Minister, Kemi Badenoch, announced that she was considering revisiting the Equality Act to ban trans people from accessing services and facilities that they have been using for decades.

That is why Labour’s call for the Scottish Government and the UK Government to work together and compromise is so disingenuous. The Tories have made clear that they have utterly no interest in any kind of compromise.

This is a Tory government that has been prepared to scapegoat, bully and diminish every minority group it can in order to score political points.

Whether it is our LGBTQ+ community, trade unionists, people on benefits or refugees, the Tories have viewed them all as political fodder in their desperate culture war.

The idea that they can be trusted to negotiate in good faith is not one that any progressive or independence supporter should take seriously.

Whatever the courts decide, the impact will be felt for decades to come. It will be a milestone moment for equality and democracy.

Trans people have waited far too long for rights that the rest of us already enjoy, and what could be more fundamental than to be recognised as the person you are and have always been?

We may have stayed in Holyrood debating amendments until the early hours, but that was only one step on our journey. The toughest steps still lie ahead of us.

Though we may not be able to undo the decades of pain and injustice, we can ensure that the future we build is a more positive, inclusive and welcoming one.