UK PM Says Teenagers Who Refuse National Service Could Forfeit Driving Licence

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Rishi Sunak

Britain’s prime minister Rishi Sunak has suggested that young people who refuse to do national service could forfeit their driving licences and be denied access to student loans.

Sunak said there would need to be “a set of sanctions and incentives” to ensure compliance with a new scheme proposed by the Tories.

Asked how he would make youngsters take part, he said that the UK could adopt punitive measures used by other European nations.

The Telegraph reports: The Tories have included plans for a new national service scheme in their manifesto.

Under the plans every 18-year-old would have to spend either a year in the military or the equivalent of one weekend a month in a volunteering role.

Mr Sunak was pressed on how he would enforce the scheme, which the Conservatives say would be compulsory, during a leaders’ special of Question Time.

He said: “You’ll have a set of sanctions and incentives and we will look at the models that are existing around Europe to get the appropriate mix of those.”

Asked what that meant, he added: “There’s all sorts of things that people do across Europe, whether that’s looking at driving licences, other access to finance.”

It is understood the Prime Minister was referring to schemes which mean people who refuse to do national service can face sanctions related to driving licences or student loans.

Ten European states have national service – Austria, Estonia, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

Mr Sunak said that a Royal Commission would be set up to examine the best options on incentives and sanctions and report back to Government.

Niamh Harris
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