HOSPITALITY and tourism workers could be massively affected by the government's new immigration policy, claims an MP.

Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, believes the law to introduce a new post-Brexit immigration system for the UK could be 'disastrous' for Cumbria.

The new bill - which passed its first stage in Parliament on Monday - would see a £25,600 threshold for skilled workers alongside a points system which rewards those who can speak English and those that already have a job offer from an employer.

“When the Lakes hospitality and tourism industry reopens for business, we will need to be ready, firing on all cylinders," said Mr Farron.

“Yet the government’s disastrous immigration bill will rob us of a third of our workforce.

“Businesses in Cumbria tell me the proposals would serve as a wrecking ball to our local economy and so I was proud to vote against the bill earlier this week.”

Simon Fell, Conservative MP for Barrow and Furness, said: “I have been engaging with the Home Office for a while as we have may workers in the area who do not fit this threshold.

“This is about need.

"There is room for flexibility on the wage threshold though.

"But part of this is about making the jobs in the industry more attractive to British people.

“We want to make sure that we are less reliant on other countries.

"This should be seen as an opportunity.

“Cumbria Tourism are doing a great job making government aware on the issue on the low skilled wage threshold.

“We have control of our own borders now and I expect that this is not the final product of this bill.”

Cumbria Tourism spoke out against this threshold when it was first announced back in February saying the skilled worker wage threshold was too high.

“If implemented, this policy has the potential to compromise the growth of our £2.9bn tourism sector and destabilise the county’s economy as a whole," said Gill Haigh, managing director of Cumbria Tourism.