Thank you for writing to me about the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill.
I believe that transgender people deserve respect, support and understanding. The announcement by the Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack, which will prevent the Bill from proceeding to Royal Assent, is about the legislation's consequences for the operation of UK wide equalities protections and other reserved matters.
It is the assessment of the UK Government that the Bill will have significantly adverse effects, including the impact on the operation of the Equality Act 2010. In particular, the Government has said it shares the concerns of many experts and civil society groups regarding the potential impact of the Bill on the safety of women and children.
I can assure you that this decision has not been taken lightly, and the UK Government fully respects the Scottish Parliament's competency to make decisions within devolved areas, but the Government cannot ignore the significant consequences of this Bill for reserved areas.
Thank you again for writing to me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking