Further reaction has come in to the government’s post-Brexit immigration plans, which will see “low skilled” workers denied entry to the UK.

The British Beer & Pub Association said the points-based system, which will require applicants to have a job offer and meet a minimum salary threshold, would present “significant challenges” to the sector.

Emma McClarkin, CEO of the BBPA, said: “Many pubs rely on workers from overseas, so it is hard to see how they will cope with such fundamental changes coming into effect in just ten months. Pubs will especially struggle with the costs and complexities of becoming a sponsoring employer in order to take on staff from outside the UK.

The BII (British Institute of Innkeeping) described the news as a “real blow to our industry”.

COO Steven Alton said: “People who work in hospitality contribute a huge amount to our economy, and in a time where pubs, bars and restaurants are keeping our high streets and communities alive, we should be supporting them however and wherever we can.

“Hospitality work is not “low-skilled”. Training and development in our industry is fantastic; career progression is clear, but we rely heavily on labour from overseas and to change this in 10 months will put an incredible amount of pressure on businesses of all sizes.

“We need to have an immigration system that supports the already under-staffed hospitality sector and encourages the growth that we know we can achieve alongside the right business rates reform.”

Industry analyst Mark Brumby, of Langton Capital, said access to labour could be an issue.

He said: “Restrictions could drive up wages. This may be populist, but it has consequences for business.

“Keeping things very, very simple, the move will 1) make labour on the margin scarcer, 2) push up its price. This will then 3) push up retail prices, 4) lead to some of the extra income coming back through the tills but 5) push some businesses to the wall.

“Creating a high wage, high cost economy is just moving the decimal point on everything to the right. Sterling would take the hit, interest rates rise, etc.

“We have suggested that the government may push up the NLW by 6% in each of the next three years in order to hit its £10.50 target one year early. If such a move in 2021 coincides with a labour shortage and higher wages driven by scarcity, it could have a material impact.”

The news is also worrying for the night time economy, according to Manchester night time czar Sacha Lord, who said many businesses would “suffer severely” as a result.

He said: “For the smaller companies, who are hugely dependent on this labour force and unable to increase salaries, it will be very hard to compete.”

“Hospitality is a very varied industry. There are no set career paths, and it’s even harder for those who have come to the country to build a life for themselves, to move through the ranks quickly.

“Many of the junior employees, for example, earn much lower than the proposed £25,600 set limit by the Government, and so, for migrant workers, the possibility of even starting a career will now sadly be unavailable.”