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Sunak Announces Mandatory National Service for 18-Year-Olds if Conservatives Win July 4 Election

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Sunak Announces Mandatory National Service for 18-Year-Olds if Conservatives Win July 4 Election

(CTN News) – Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said that if the Conservative Party is re-elected in the United Kingdom’s July 4 election, 18-year-olds will be required to serve mandatory national service.

Sunak stated on Saturday that the UK has “generations of young people who have not had the opportunities they deserve” and that this step would help unite society in an “increasingly uncertain world.”

According to the party, the prime minister’s plan would allow young people to join the military forces full-time for 12 months or volunteer in their community one weekend per month for a year.

The declaration came as Conservatives prepare for elections, stepping up their attacks on the opposition Labour Party.

Between 1947 and 1960, the United Kingdom had national service, which required men aged 17 to 21 to serve in the armed forces for 18 months. According to the BBC, the British Army’s size has dropped from 100,000 in 2010 to around 73,000 by January 2024.

The Conservative Party stated that the placement with the military services would allow the youngsters to “learn and participate in logistics, cybersecurity, procurement, or civil response operations.”

Sunak’s National Service Plan: Financial and Administrative Aspects

The community service option would entail assisting local fire departments, police, the UK’s National Health Service, and charities that combat loneliness in the old and isolated. The BBC stated that the plan will cost around 2.5 billion pounds ($3.2 billion) annually.

A royal commission of military and civil society specialists would design the national service program.

The first pilot program will accept applicants in September 2025. Following that, the Conservatives proposed a “National Service Act” to make the measures mandatory by the end of the next legislative session.

According to the Guardian, the Conservatives have emphasized that the system differs from conscription.

“This new, mandatory national service will provide life-changing opportunities for our young people, offering them the chance to learn real-world skills, do new things and contribute to their community and our country,” Sunak stated.

“The implications of ambiguity are evident. Without a plan, the world becomes more perilous. “You, your family, and our country are all at risk if Labour wins,” he added.

The Labour Party described the statement as “another desperate unfunded commitment” and claimed that while David Cameron was prime minister, he created a similar system called the National Citizen Service.

A spokesperson for Labour stated: “This is not a plan; it’s a review that could cost billions and is only needed because the Tories hollowed out the armed forces to their smallest size since Napoleon.”

“Britain has had enough of the Conservatives, who are out of ideas and have no plans to resolve 14 years of instability. It’s time to turn the page and rebuild Britain alongside Labour.”

Several European countries, like Sweden, Norway, and Denmark, already have some conscription for their military forces.

Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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