A new ‘barista visa’ could be introduced to ensure London’s coffee shops and pubs are still fully staffed after Brexit.
Under the plan, young European citizens will still be able to work in the UK’s hospitality industry after it exits the EU.
The proposal is based on a Youth Mobility Scheme for travellers from Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
It comes after the British Hospitality Association warned that the shortage of British workers in restaurants is so severe that many will go bust without a steady stream of migrants.
The scheme was suggested by Migration Watch UK chairman Lord Green and a senior Home Office source said it was a “good idea”, according to The Sun.
Using the so-called ‘barista visa’, European citizens’ time in Britain will reportedly be strictly limited to two years.
And they would not be able to claim benefits or free housing under the proposed scheme.
Explaining his plan, Lord Green told The Sun: “We can kill two birds with one stone here.
“We can meet the needs of pubs and restaurants and maintain our links with young Europeans by allowing them to come for a strictly limited period of two years to work.”
The crossbench peer and former Foreign Office ambassador added: “They could work at any level but would not become long term immigrants who would add to the pressure on public services.
“Nor should they qualify for benefits or housing.”
BHA said that ministers should allow low skilled jobs to be taken on by EU migrants after the UK leaves the bloc.
Explaining why, the association said that just one in 50 job applicants for café chain Pret a Manger are British – and that chains will need ten years to replace EU staff after Brexit.
A Home Office spokesman said: "Leaving the European Union allows Britain to take control of our immigration system.
"We are working across Government to identify and develop options to shape our future system to ensure the best possible outcome for the British people.
"It is logical to consult on proposals to make sure businesses, services and communities can contribute their views.
"However, as we are currently considering the various options as to how EU migration might work once we have left, it would be wrong to set out further positions at this stage."