According to an analysis of official figures, ending freedom of movement after Brexit could result in 115,000 fewer adult social care workers by 2026. As it stands there are 1.3 million care workers in the UK, but 2 million will be needed by 2035 to deal with the rising number of elderly people.

These findings are concerning and likely to add to ever-growing worry that adult social care is close to breaking point. The number of EU care workers have fallen since 2012, as a result of strict controls on low-skilled workers from the rest of the world.

Peter Starkings, the director of thinktank Global Future, said: “Ending free movement after Brexit would cause a social care workforce crisis. Social care is already overstretched, and cutting the number of care staff by 100,000 would have a direct impact on the quality of life of elderly and disabled people.”