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Humza Yousaf: Gender recognition court result a 'dark day for devolution'

Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf <i>(Image: PA)</i>
Scotland's First Minister Humza Yousaf (Image: PA)

Humza Yousaf has said it is a "dark day for devolution" after the Scottish Government lost a landmark court battle over its gender reform bill.

A judge at the Court of Session in Edinburgh on Friday (December 8) ruled the UK Government was within its rights to block the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill, despite its being approved in Holyrood.

Reacting to the news, The First Minister said: "Today's judgment confirms beyond doubt that devolution is fundamentally flawed. The Court has confirmed that legislation passed by a majority in Holyrood can be struck down by Westminster.

Read more: Humza Yousaf loses landmark court case on gender reform

"The only way to guarantee we get true self-government is through independence. This is a dark day for devolution.

"Sovereignty should lie with the people of Scotland, not a Westminster Government we didn't vote for with the ability to overrule our laws.

"We, of course, respect the Court's judgment and will take time to consider its findings."

Mr Yousaf is now facing a decision whether to appeal the ruling at the Court's Inner House, and eventually at the Supreme Court.

Read more: Yousaf urged not to add to £230,000 bill after gender reform court defeat

The Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill was blocked from becoming law by Conservative minister Alister Jack, who said it would create problems with different equality laws in different parts of the UK.

The Minister for Scotland said: "I welcome the Court's judgment, which upholds my decision to prevent the Scottish Government's gender recognition legislation from becoming law.

"I was clear that this legislation would have had adverse effects on the operation of the law as it applies to reserved matters, including on important Great Britain-wide equality protections.

"Following this latest Court defeat for the Scottish Government, their ministers need to stop wasting taxpayers' money pursuing needless legal action and focus on the real issues which matter to people in Scotland - such as growing the economy and cutting waiting lists."