JUST 17 per cent of British people would “willingly” fight for the UK in a war, a new poll has found.

The plurality of people surveyed – 30% – said they would do “whatever is possible to avoid fighting for my country”. A further 14% said they would fight if they were forced to.

The figures come from a People Polling survey commissioned by GB News, which reported: “Londoners and Scots are also the most likely to say they would do whatever possible to avoid fighting.”

Among young people, those aged 18-24, just 14% said they would willingly fight, while 43% said they would do whatever they could to avoid doing so.

READ MORE: Senior Scottish minister calls out BBC for 'flippant' discussion on conscription

The news comes after comments made by General Sir Patrick Sanders, the outgoing Chief of the General Staff (CGS) of the British Army, were interpreted as suggesting that conscription could be required in any potential future war due to the UK military being too small.

Sanders, in a speech at the International Armoured Vehicles conference in south-west London on Wednesday, said Britain should “train and equip” a “citizen army” to ready the country for a potential land war.

Pointing to Sweden introducing a form of military service for its population, the head of the Army said at least 45,000 reservists and citizens should be trained up in the next three years to top-up the current army size of 74,000, in what he called a “whole-of-nation undertaking”.

No 10 ruled out any suggestion that conscription was under consideration, saying there were “no plans” to change the British military’s “proud tradition of being a voluntary force”.

Retired corporal Cliff Purvis, 62, told The National the army chief’s admission showed how Westminster had “hollowed out” the armed forces.

He said the situation echoed that of the build-up to the First World War, after Britain’s military was weakened in the wake of the Boer War.

Purvis, who served for 24 years in the Armed Forces, said: “It’s had veterans frothing at the mouth. The Armed Forces have been hollowed out.”

The People Polling survey was carried out on January 25 and asked 1648 British voters.