The UK Government has issued its strongest hint yet that it will challenge Holyrood over the Gender recognition reform bill. 

Women and Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch has raised her concerns about Scotland’s new law, which was passed by the Scottish parliament yesterday after days of debate. 

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

But Ms Badenoch's intervention is the strongest hint yet that there could be a constitutional showdown over the chaneg in the process to achieve a gender recognition certificate. 

The minister said that the UK Government "is now looking at provisions that can prompt reconsideration" of the bill. 

READ MORE: UK Government to investigate blocking gender reforms

Under the plans, trans people will no longer need to have a gender dysphoria diagnosis to obtain a gender recognition certificate (GRC) 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.

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Supporters of the bill, which was backed by all political parties in Scotland except the Tories, say that it merely removes a bureaucratic hurdle to gaining a GRC.

However, those oppose believe self-ID is an attack on women's rights and opens up previously safe spaces to predatory men. 

READ MORE: 'A three-day slog to help trans people'

In a statement late last night, Ms Badenoch said: “Today the SNP passed their gender recognition bill, despite strong opposition from even within their own party, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and Girls and a variety of civic groups in Scotland.

“I share their concerns. Particularly, on this Bill’s impact on the functioning of the Equality Act, which is designed to protect all UK citizens.

“The Scottish Government has not addressed the full implications of their bill – especially on the lives of women and girls. The UK Government is now looking at provisions that can prompt reconsideration and allow MSPs to address these issues.”

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack previously said that the UK Government could invoke a Section 35 order, stopping the bil from becoming law.

Section 35 orders deal with legislation which is reserved to Westminster, in this case the Equalities Act. Some functions affected by the Bill, such as passports, are also reserved to the UK authorities. 

If this were to occur the Scottish Government would be obliged to either go to court for a ruling or to re-examine the bill. 

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”.