Home Business News Downing Street slaps down Army chief that British public could be called up to fight

Downing Street slaps down Army chief that British public could be called up to fight

by LLB political Reporter
24th Jan 24 5:18 pm

On Wednesday General Sir Patrick Sanders said that “regular armies start war,” but it is citizen armies who “win them.”

The British public have been warned that they are part of a “pre-war generation” and they must be trained should they are needed to fight as Russia is posing a serious threat across Europe.

Downing Street has hit back over General Sir Patrick remarks that they will “find more people if it comes to war.”

Downing Street has said on Wednesday afternoon that they will not introduce a conscription model, and that joining the Armed Forces will remain “voluntary,” however the British armed forces has hardly any troops.

However, General Sir Patrick warned that the British Army has been cut back too much over the years and over the past 12 years it has shrunk by 28%.

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He said that people who live in the UK are now part of a “pre-war generation” and said civilians must be trained should they need to fight in a war.

When asked is Rishi Sunak could rule out conscription in future circumstances, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said, “There is no suggestion of that. The Government has no intention to follow through with that.

“The British military has a proud tradition of being a voluntary force. There are no plans to change that.”

Sir Patrick, speaking at the International Armoured Vehicles conference, said: “We will not be immune and as the pre-war generation we must similarly prepare – and that is a whole-of-nation undertaking. Ukraine brutally illustrates that regular armies start wars; citizen armies win them.

“Within the next three years, it must be credible to talk of a British Army of 120,000, folding in our reserve and strategic reserve. But that’s not enough.”

Sir Patrick added: “Our friends in eastern and Northern Europe, who feel the proximity of the Russian threat more acutely, are already acting prudently laying the foundations for national mobilisation.”

Sir Patrick acknowledged that while the Army was at “increased readiness”, this was not enough.

“We need an Army designed to expand rapidly to enable the first echelon, resource the second echelon and train and equipped for a citizen army that must follow,” he said.

He said that Ukraine is now “the principal pressure point on a fragile world order that our enemies wish to dismantle.”

Sir Patrick added, “This war is not merely about the black soil of the Donbas, nor the re-establishment of a Russian Empire.

“It’s about defeating our system and our way of life, politically, psychologically and symbolically.

“How we respond as that pre-war generation will reverberate through history. Ukrainian bravery and resilience are buying us time for now. So Ukraine really matters. I can’t overstate it.”

Tory MP Tobias Ellwood who served with General Sir Patrick told Sky News there is a “1939 feel to the world” and he warned that UK is not ready to deal with what is soon to come “over the horizon.”

Ellwood made his comments after General Sir Patrick is set to give a speech warning that young men and women will be called up to join the armed forces and will be mobilised fight on the frontlines as the British Army is far too small.

Ellwood said General Sir Patrick is “one of the most cerebral thinkers that we’ve got” and a great “strategist.”

Ellwood said that the government needs “to listen and listen carefully, we’ve been too complacent.

“What’s coming over the horizon should shock us. It should worry us and we are not prepared.”

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