The Conservative Party said it would revive a decades-old national service mandate for every 18-year-old Briton by the end of the next Parliament, a striking political gamble as U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak sets out his six-week campaign messaging ahead of the July election.

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

The mandate would require 18-year-olds to choose between either a full-time placement in the armed forces or cyber defense for one year, or volunteering in their community for the equivalent of one weekend per month for one year.