NewsBritain plans mandatory military service for 18-year-olds

Britain plans mandatory military service for 18‑year-olds

The British intend to reinstate conscription, it's a response to the actions of the Russians.
The British intend to reinstate conscription, it's a response to the actions of the Russians.
Images source: © Getty Images | ilbusca

12:02 PM EDT, May 27, 2024

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced reintroducing mandatory military service for 18-year-olds. This will commence if the Conservative Party wins the parliamentary elections scheduled for July 4. Conscription in the United Kingdom could start as early as September next year in response to the Russian threat in Europe.

Twelve months of mandatory national service would be reintroduced by the Conservatives if they win the general election, reports BBC.

According to Rishi Sunak, the country must responsibly address its current long-term challenges. The Prime Minister believes that military service will provide "young people with opportunities" and allow them "real world skills, do new things and contribute to their community and our country."

The Labour Party has criticized the plans, expected to cost around $3 billion, as "desperate" and "unfunded." Conscription is set to begin in September 2025, and a special commission will be tasked with developing the program.

Reintroduction of military service in the United Kingdom. here are the exact plans

According to the Conservative Party's plan, 18-year-olds can choose between joining the military for 12 months, serving in cyber defense for the same period, or volunteering one weekend a month for a year. The volunteering could be carried out in the ranks of the fire service, health service, or charitable organizations.

It is not clear whether there will be any consequences for evading the obligation.

The Conservatives said the move would help ensure young people who were not employed, in education or training, or at risk of getting involved with crime, would diverted away from "lives of unemployment and crime," writes BBC

BBC reports that Prime Minister David Cameron proposed a similar idea as early as 2010. At that time, even 16-year-olds were supposed to enroll in the military, but the plans were never realized.

Mandatory service was abolished in 1960. It was introduced after World War II. Men aged 17 to 21 had to serve in the armed forces for 18 months, but in 1950, the service was extended to two years.

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