Why was the prospect of a section 35 order not raised at any time before the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill was overwhelmingly passed by the Scottish Parliament? What alternatives did the Attorney General look at? When will she set out the changes to the Bill that she wants to see before the Government would revoke the section 35 order? Those are simple questions. If she cannot answer them, all we can conclude is that the Government have lost their last shred of respect for the Scottish Parliament.
That would be absolutely the wrong conclusion to draw. The Attorney General’s convention is clear: the UK Government respect the Scottish Parliament’s ability to legislate within its competence on devolved areas. The Government are committed to working with the devolved Administrations and strengthening the Union of the UK.