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England Could Introduce ‘Barista Visas’ to Keep Cafés Fully Staffed After Brexit

Maybe EU countries could get a free visa after their tenth barista. Photo: INTI OCON/AFP/Getty Images

It’s established fact that England’s restaurant industry would grind to a halt without foreign workers. Pret a Manger actually said earlier this year that just one in 50 job applicants is from the U.K., partly because citizens no longer see restaurants as a “desirable place to work.” That’s a terrible ratio when your country is about to pull out of the Europe Union, though, so the Sun reports that Britain’s Home Office has backed plans to introduce something called “barista visas.”

The scheme would reportedly offer young EU nationals a two-year work permit, ensuring a steady stream of immigrant labor after Brexit goes into effect, so cafés can keep serving food, and pubs have somebody to wipe down the bar and wash pint glasses. The plan, which was devised by Migration Watch UK, a pro-Brexit group that’s advocated for immigrant HIV testing and withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights, would make benefits and housing off-limits to these workers while they’re living in England, to prevent them from “add[ing] to the pressure on public services.”

According to the Sun, the Home Office considers the plan a “good idea.” Plenty of people in England have their doubts, however:

Tim Farron, leader of the Liberal Democrats and a loud anti-Brexit voice, also weighed in this morning on the plan, blasting it as “a piece of political satire” that’s “actually being taken seriously by our Brexit government”:

England Mulls ‘Barista Visas’ to Staff Cafés After Brexit