Do you think national service is a good idea? Have your say

Rishi Sunak has said national service will provide a 'shared sense of purpose' among young people, but others have questioned how workable the scheme will be.

Yahoo UK's poll of the week lets you vote and indicate your strength of feeling on one of the week's hot topics. After 72 hours the poll closes and, each Friday, we'll publish and analyse the results, giving readers the chance to see how polarising a topic has become and if their view chimes with other Yahoo UK readers.

London, UK. 24th November 2021. British Army soldiers march in a parade in Westminster. Credit: Vuk Valcic / Alamy
British Army soldiers march in a parade in Westminster. (Alamy)

Rishi Sunak's proposal to bring back national service has sharply divided opinion, with even former military chiefs disagreeing on whether the plan will work.

In times of increasing global instability, including threats from Russia, former British Army and Nato commander Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon told the i that conscription is "a reality that we really need to consider deeply" – considering the military's struggle to meet recruitment targets.

On the other hand, former chief of the naval staff and former Labour minister Admiral Alan West branded the Conservative Party's general election pledge as "bonkers", arguing that it would result in money being "sucked out of defence" to fund the £2.5 billion plan.

Home secretary James Cleverly has argued that the scheme would help address the "fragmentation of society" by forcing people who "live in a bubble" to mix with people from all walks of life.

One-year placements in the Armed Forces will include fields such as cyber security, logistics and civil response, which Sunak claiming this element of the scheme would be “very competitive and selective”.

Alternatively, 18-year-olds can choose a civil national service option, which Cleverly hopes will ignite a "lifelong commitment to volunteering" among many people.

However, with the government insisting there will be no criminal sanctions for those who do not sign up, some have questioned how the plan is going to work, and if it can still be considered "mandatory".

Recent polling also suggests that Generation Z – who would be enlisted under the scheme – are likely to be resistant to the idea of military service, while even older generations are divided on the issue.

But what do you think? Do you think bringing back national service is a good idea, and is this policy likely to influence how you vote on 4 July? Let us know in the polls below.

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