Gender Recognition

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons am 1:47 pm ar 6 Rhagfyr 2023.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Kirsten Oswald Kirsten Oswald Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Women), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Equalities) 1:47, 6 Rhagfyr 2023

I thank the Minister for advance sight of her statement, although I would have welcomed a good deal more detail. I do not know whether it is because the UK Government have been missing in action on their own commitment to ban conversion therapy for the last five years, but they seem much more interested in culture wars than in looking after the rights of some of the most vulnerable people. Of course, this is the same UK Government who are intent on blocking the democratic will, expressed across parties, of the Scottish Parliament. Again, they seem to be more interested in constitutional shenanigans than in human rights.

The Minister talked about unintended consequences. Has she undertaken an impact assessment of the impact of this change on the safety, health and wellbeing of those affected? What conversations has she had with international counterparts, and what specific evidence did she receive ahead of the change that made her decide to remove these named territories? Can she tell us exactly what will happen to those already living here, and living under their new gender, who come from the places that she is now removing from the list? Can she say where this leaves the motion of reciprocal arrangements? What of those from the UK who are living elsewhere? Does she recognise that the UK is travelling rapidly backwards on the rights of LGBT people and that this decision is very much out of step with other progressive countries around the world? What consideration has she given to the UK’s international reputation?

From sending vulnerable refugees to Rwanda, placing barriers in front of care workers who want to come to the UK and now this, we can see the dearth of compassion at the heart of the UK Government writ large. We have all heard the reports that the Conservative party intends to fight the general election on the trans debate and culture wars, but nobody’s identity should be in question. As the Minister herself said, nobody’s identity should be used as a political football. We need to stop that. She needs to reflect and she needs to change tack.