HOLYROOD risks “getting things wrong” with plans to reform gender recognition laws after the government gave MSPs less than two weeks to consider over 100 amendments.

On Wednesday night, the SNP-Green administration tabled a motion to have stage two of the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill completed by 23 November.

An attempt by the Tories to extend the deadline by two weeks was overwhelmingly rejected.

Alexander Burnett, from the party said the short deadline was “utterly needless, and just creates the prospect of getting things wrong.” 

“We must strive for high-quality legislation. We do not want this parliament to become an embarrassing case study at universities worldwide of how not to do gender reform legislation. So why the rush?”

He told MSPs he had been left with the conclusion “that there is some hidden reason for the haste on this bill. And I have my own suspicions on this, political in nature. And while I really hope I am wrong, more and more evidence suggests I'm not.”

Labour supported the government’s timetable, but on the understanding that the committee requires more time for parliamentary scrutiny, it will get that extra time. 

SNP Business manager, George Adam said the “Bill itself is not a large complex Bill”. 

“The reason the timescales we are working to are for the size of Bill that this is. There is no hastening of the actual process. There is no rushing through of the Bill. This Bill of this size is actually going through this way because it is within that process.”

He said the timeline had been “agreed by the convener and the majority” of the Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee. They are due to start considering the amendments next Tuesday. 

The tight deadline means they will likely only have two sessions to consider the possible amendments. 

The SNP suffered its biggest rebellion last month when seven MSPs voted against the legislation at stage one, while another two abstained. 

One of those to vote against was Ash Regan who was forced to quit her role as Community Safety Minister. 

The legislation aims to reform the process by which trans people can obtain a gender recognition certificate.

Currently, they need a medical diagnosis and a two-year period of living as that gender.

However, the new Bill removes the need for medical assessment, and allows someone to obtain a gender recognition certificate after six months.

It would also reduce the minimum age for application from 18 to 16.

Some critics of the law have raised concerns that the new legislation could have an impact on the single-sex exceptions in the Equality Act, and could potentially place women in danger from men who might abuse a self-identification system.

Last week, in a bid to see off any future rebellions, Shona Robison, the social justice secretary, tabled an amendment which would give sheriffs the power to block “fraudulent” applications for a gender recognition certificate by potential sex offenders.

One of the big criticisms of the change in law is that it could allow “bad actors” to claim to be a different gender to access women’s services or prisons to prey on them.

Labour’s Michael Marra, has tabled an amendment proposing that an application for a new gender recognition certificate is countersigned, like a passport application, by a professional who has “personally known the applicant for at least two years.”

The SNP’s Christine Grahame wants 16 and 17-year-old applicants to be required to live in their acquired gender for six months, rather than three, and to have sought appropriate advice.

It is understood the government is sympathetic to Ms Grahame's amendment.

Scottish Labour MSP Foysol Choudhury has tabled a change that would make clear the Bill would not impact any of the protections afforded to protected groups in the Equality Act 2010 – a major concern for those in opposition to the legislation.

Similarly, SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor has proposed an amendment which would state explicitly that the Bill would have no impact on where transgender prisoners are housed.