ONE of Boris Johnson's closest allies has warned Rishi Sunak against blocking the Scottish Government's gender recognition reforms.

Tory MP Michael Fabricant called it a "political trap" and compared it to his party voting against the minimum wage in 1997. 

He said it would boost support for the SNP and Scottish independence and described it as an "own goal for unionists."

Mr Sunak confirmed on Friday that the UK government was assessing the impact of the new legislation - passed by Holyrood on Thursday - which simplifies the process for trans people to obtain a gender recognition certificate (GRC) by removing the need for a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria. 

READ MORE: UK Government to investigate blocking gender recognition reforms

While gender recognition is devolved to Holyrood, the Equality Act - which the new law will interact with – is reserved to Westminster.

Within minutes of MSPs voting by 86-39 in favour of the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack, said he could invoke section 35 of the Scotland Act, which allows him to prevent the Presiding Office from submitting the legislation for Royal Assent. 

That would be the first time in the history of devolution that a secretary of state has used that power. 

If they do it will almost certainly end up in the courts

The Scottish Government has said they will "vigorously" contest any attempts by the UK Government to block the Bill.

Taking to Twitter, Mr Fabricant said opposing reforms "could be as big a political trap for the Conservatives as when, in Opposition, they voted against the minimum wage."

He added: "Only this time, we won’t just be helping #Labour but the #SNP and independence for Scotland too. An own goal for the #Unionists."

His comments come after former prime minister Thersa May said she was disappointed that similar changes to gender recognition laws were not being considered in England.

READ MORE: Theresa May intervenes over Rishi Sunak's threat to block gender law

During her time in office, the ex-Tory leader had promised to streamline and demedicalise the process for obtaining a GRC, but with no majority in the Commons, a reliance on the socially conservative DUP to prop up her government, and Brexit battles dominating her final months in power, the plans were never enthusiastically pursued. 

Speaking on Monday, Ms May told the BBC: “The very fact that I put the proposal forward shows that that was something that I thought was important to do, particularly to take some of the medical aspects out of this,” she said.

“But the Government has looked again at it and has taken the decision that it has.”

On the constitutional issues raised by the Scottish legislation, she said: “We have different legal systems.

“Obviously, there’s a different system in Scotland, but I think it is important when any part of the UK is looking at legislation that only affects that part of the UK, that thought is given to what the impact would be on the Union.

“But at the end of the day it is about people, and it’s about the impact it would have on people.”

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland last Friday, Scottish Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison promised to defend the legislation.

“The Bill as passed is absolutely within legislative competence and of course was backed by an overwhelming majority with support from all parties,” she said on BBC Radio Scotland on Friday.

“I think any attempt by the UK Government to undermine what is, after all, the democratic will of the Scottish Parliament, it will be vigorously contested by the Scottish Government.”