Leaving aside the fact that GRR is a bad law, the BBC's reporting of the devolution aspect of it is getting on my nerves. References to how the UK Govt might "step in" as if it's some sort of God and "block" the legislation. It can't do that - it can *challenge* the law in court.— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) December 22, 2022
Almost as soon as I'd posted the above tweet, a couple of people partially corrected me by pointing out that the UK Government also have the option of invoking Section 35 of the Scotland Act, which until now has never been used. Here is the key part of the text:"Power to intervene in certain cases.
I actually agree with this. However repugnant the GRR Bill may be, nobody who believes in Scottish self-government can in good conscience want the UK government to interfere. A big part of freedom is the freedom to make your own mistakes.https://t.co/5N5rFDFs84— James Kelly (@JamesKelly) December 23, 2022
That said, even I can see that there might be a side-benefit to a Westminster veto if that unfortunate event should actually arise. Many of us worry that the SNP and Green leaderships are somewhat tepid in their support for independence - as if it's something they believe in as a distant ideal, but aren't that bothered about in the here and now. But nobody could accuse them of feeling that way about gender self-ID - the circus of this week has been caused by them apparently regarding it as utterly unthinkable for this calendar year to pass without the GRR Bill being approved by Holyrood.
So how would they react if they discover that gender recognition reform isn't actually achievable under devolution? We might suddenly find that independence is an absolute and urgent imperative for them after all - because they'd see it as the only way of getting the GRR Bill onto the statute book. The only caveat is that they might have the thought at the back of their minds that a Starmer government in 2024 will remove the roadblock - but, there again, if they have sufficient patience to wait for Starmer, why the undue haste we've seen thus far?