The UK government must take steps now if it is to avoid a languages crisis when Britain splits from the EU, a group of MPs and Lords have warned.

The All-Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Modern Languages has tabled numerous proposals for Theresa May's administration to adopt in negotiations with Brussels.

The checklist includes calling on the government to guarantee residency status for EU nationals already living in the UK and safeguard the future recruitment of EU citizens in a bid to tackle the shortage of language skills in the UK.

Malcolm Trobe, interim general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, backed the plan. "It is essential that schools continue to be able to recruit EU nationals post-Brexit," he said.

"There is already a critical shortage of language teachers and the last thing that we need is anything which makes this situation worse. We understand that Brexit means Brexit but it is vital that it does not also mean a full-blown crisis in language teaching."

The group, chaired by Labour's Nia Griffith MP and crossbench peer Baroness Coussins, also want the UK to continue its membership of the Erasmus+ scheme, a student exchange programme which includes colleges and universities from 32 European countries.

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Mark Herbert, head of schools programmes at the British Council, said: "Language skills matter to the UK now more than ever so we need to ensure that opportunities for our young people to acquire these vital skills are maintained.

"Learning a language isn't just a rewarding way to connect with another culture but boosts individual job prospects as well as business and trade opportunities for the UK.

"It would be a huge loss for the country if future generations were denied the chance to take part in schemes such as Erasmus+ ... which help them to live and work with their counterparts around the globe, learning a language in the process."

The Department for Education had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.