British PM Rishi Sunak vows to bring back compulsory national service

The British Conservative Party, otherwise known as the Tories, will reinstate compulsory national service if it wins the election, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has promised.

Under the proposed scheme, every 18-year-old British man or woman will have to serve their country for one year.

Teenagers will be able to choose between two options: a full-time role in the Armed Forces or volunteering for charities or civic groups on weekends.

A royal commission will be set up to look at how to implement the programme.

But The sun on Sunday understands that those who refuse to participate will not face criminal sanctions.

“This is a great country, but generations of young people have not had the opportunities or experience they deserve – and there are forces seeking to divide our society in this uncertain world,” Sunak said.

“I have a clear plan to address this issue and secure our future. I will introduce a new version of National Service to create a shared purpose among our young people and a renewed sense of pride in our country.”

The Prime Minister announced the radical pledge after warning that the world is more dangerous now than at any time since the Cold War.

Meanwhile, the army has reached its smallest size since the Napoleonic Wars 200 years ago.

Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said Britain was in a “pre-war world” and needed to be prepared for conflicts involving Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

And Home Secretary James Cleverly said national service will help bottle the “Blitz spirit” we have seen during the pandemic.

Write exclusively in The sun on Sundayhe said the plan would provide a triple boost for Britain: protecting the country, training young people and forging a new sense of patriotism and civic pride.

“This compulsory national service will forge shared values, unite us as a nation and develop the critical skills of our younger generations,” he said.

“Conservatives know we are a great country, the best country in the world, in fact, but we need to strengthen our resilience and protect ourselves from future shocks. We must also protect British values, those of generosity, duty and patriotism, because it is our values ​​that make us great.”

The sun on Sunday understands that teenagers serving under the program will not be sent to active war zones.

National Service will be based on the sense of civic pride unleashed by The sun on Sundayof the Jabs Army to roll out the Covid vaccine, Cleverly added.

“I hope we never have to face another global pandemic, but without a doubt the broader security challenges we face are growing,” he said.

The radical manifesto pledge is the most eye-catching announcement of the election so far.

There have been growing calls for a return to national service following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

The army chief said Britain should form a “citizen army” to be ready to fight on land.

Speaking earlier this year, General Sir Patrick Sanders said: “Ukraine brutally demonstrates that regular armies start wars – citizen armies win them.”

According to the Ministry of Defence, the British armed forces have seen personnel numbers reduced by a third since 2000.

Britain is woefully unprepared and could not fight a “high intensity” war, MPs on the Defense Committee have warned.

The number of armies plummeted from 109,600 in 2000 to 76,950 last year.

The navy shrank from 42,800 to 32,590. And the RAF went from 54,600 to 31,940.

Sweden, Switzerland and Israel already have national service.

In France, President Emmanuel Macron announced plans to reinstate national service.

Under the Tory plan, every 18-year-old will join a branch of the armed forces or a cyber defense team for a year.

Or they can volunteer for one weekend a month at a charity or community group, including organizations such as the police, fire or ambulance services.

Ministers are also open to letting elders do this voluntarily.

The first pilot will be open for applications from September 2025, before being rolled out nationally to all by the end of parliament, 2029-2030.

It is expected to cost £2.5 billion ($4.8 billion) a year and will be paid for with cash from the UK’s Shared Prosperity Fund, created to help the UK level up and crack down on tax avoidance tax.

The alarm comes due to the increase in young British people who do not work or study.

According to the Office for National Statistics, around 850,000 young people aged between 18 and 24 are not in education, work or training, which is an increase of 20,000 in a year.

It is the highest since 2016 and was led by young men.

Britain introduced national service in 1947 as the country recovered from the Second World War.

Able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 21 were called upon to help the nation maintain its dwindling empire over the world.

They also helped provide the Army with a large garrison force in post-war Germany and a smaller one in Japan.

National service was abolished in 1960.

The Prime Minister’s plan comes as Sir Keir Starmer’s Labor Party is more than 20 points ahead in the polls.

The Conservatives are struggling to bridge the gap by making a run for national security – saying only they can be trusted to arm and defend Britain and stand by its allies.

Sunak has also promised to increase defense spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2030.

The Labor Party has said it wants to reach 2.5% only when it can afford it.

This article originally appeared in The Sun and has been reproduced with permission

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