THE UK Government is reportedly lining up a legal challenge against Scottish ministers’ bid to reform gender recognition.

Tory minister may not recognise Scottish gender recognition certificates – potentially leaving trans people who move south of the border with difficulties obtaining pensions and benefits.

Reports suggest that Conservative ministers believe the Holyrood plans, set to be voted on by MSPs on December 21, “could "undermine Westminster competencies".

The BBC has reported that the UK Government may not recogise the new system of self-ID in Scotland and are not ruling out a legal challenge.

The plans, which were supported by the Tory Government under Theresa May and under Ruth Davidson’s leadership at Holyrood, are backed by all political parties at the Scottish Parliament, except the Conservatives.

Under the proposals, trans people seeking a gender recognition certificate would no longer need to obtain a gender dysphoria diagnosis and the lower age limit would be lowered to 16.

In July, then UK Attorney General, Suella Braverman, warned she was mulling an attempt to intervene in the legislation on grounds of “constitutional issues”.

UK Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch has written to the Scottish Government, setting out her concerns.

SNP Social Justice Secretary, Shona Robison, who is leading on the Bill, is happy to meet with the UK Equalities Minister to discuss her concerns.

It is normal for UK and Scottish legislation to raise cross-border issues, and the Section 104 process provides the mechanism for the two governments to work together to make consequential modifications as required.

It is not uncommon for UK and Scottish legislation to raise cross-border issues, with a process, a Section 104, available, to iron out any changes that are required.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The UK Government’s Minister for Women and Equalities has responded to a letter sent by the Scottish Government in October setting out relevant policy considerations for the UK Government, undertaking to work constructively on cross-border issues, and offering to meet.

“Ms Robison will be happy to meet with Ms Badenoch.”

The potential stand-off comes amid speculation over a split in support from Labour MSPs.

The Scottish Parliament has confirmed that the final debate and vote at stage three for the gender recognition reforms will take place on Wednesday, December 21.

On the day before, stage three amendments are set to be considered ahead of the crunch vote.

The Scottish Conservatives failed in an attempt to have the legislation delayed until after the Christmas recess – amid speculation and claims that the Scottish Government wanted to rush it through while Finance Secretary Kate Forbes, who has previously voiced concerns about the reforms, is on maternity leave.

Now former public safety minister Ash Regan quit her government role at stage one of the legislation after opposing the reforms – with eight of her SNP colleagues also defying the whip.

The proposals are expected to pass despite the SNP rebellion, supported by the Greens, LibDems and majority of Labour MSPs.

But reports suggest that support from Scottish Labour MSPs is “very fragile”.

According to the Daily Record, the party’s education spokesperson Michael Marra is said to be a prominent critic – with the MSP having publicly voiced his concerns at stage one of the legislation.

Labour MSPs Pauline McNeill, Claire Baker, Foysol Choudhury and finance spokesperson Daniel Johnson are also believed to have raised questions.

Now, former Labour MSPs and critics of the legislation, Jenny Marra and Johann Lamont, have written to the Scottish Government to urge them to postpone the final vote.

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: “Scottish Labour will work constructively to try and address concerns about this Bill as it moves through Parliament.

“It is important that everyone has confidence in this legislation, but the Scottish Government have failed to build a consensus or provide the reassurance people need.

“Labour is committed to bringing people together, and we will pursue amendments to make sure everyone’s rights are protected.”