The UK Government is to investigate whether to block the Scottish Government's gender recognition reforms.

MSPs overwhelmingly backed the Scottish Government's legislation that will bring the process for trans people to obtain a gender recognition certificate in line with more than a dozen other nations.

Under the plans, trans people will no longer need to have a gender dysphoria diagnosis to obtain a gender recognition certificate with a move to a system of self-ID.

The minimum age limit will be lowered from 18 under the current UK legislation to 16. 

But Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has confirmed the UK Government is not ruling out using the Scotland Act to block the legislation receiving royal assent. 

Mr Jack said: “We share the concerns that many people have regarding certain aspects of this Bill, and in particular the safety issues for women and children.

“We will look closely at that, and also the ramifications for the 2010 Equality Act and other UK wide legislation, in the coming weeks - up to and including a Section 35 order stopping the Bill going for Royal Assent if necessary.”

But a Scottish Government spokesman warned that “any attempt by the UK Government to undermine the democratic will of the Scottish Parliament will be vigorously contested”.