Jeremy Corbyn will be pressed this week to agree a points-based system for EU migrants after Brexit.
That means if he was PM no one from the EU could come to Britain to settle without a guaranteed job.
Theresa May could trigger Article 50, beginning the negotiations for Britain to leave the EU, as early as Thursday.
And Mr Corbyn’s MPs are frustrated that the Labour leader has no Brexit plans of his own in place.
Next week former Cabinet minister Liam Byrne will circulate his own policy document among backbenchers in an effort to nudge Mr Corbyn forward.
In 2008, when Byrne was Immigration minister, he devised a points-based system to replace work permits for non-EU migrants. It awarded points for such things as academic qualifications, bank balance and English language skills and ensured migrants came here with a suitable job offer.
In what he calls a “triple shift on Europe”, Mr Byrne will also call for Britain to rejoin the European Free Trade Association when we lose access to the EU single market.
EFTA member states Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland operate in parallel with the EU and its free trade deals would cover £98billion of our exports.
Mr Byrne said: “Leaving the single market is three steps backwards. But rejoining EFTA is at least one step forward.
“It’s a free market not a political union. And it gives us the freedom to control our borders.”
He also wants to use our membership of the 47-nation Council of Europe, Winston Churchill’s post-war brainchild, and the European Court of Human Rights to ensure workers are still protected after Brexit.
Mr Byrne added: “Labour pressure has forced the government to confirm we’re staying in this club.
“Now we need to use it to enforce agreements like the European Social Charter to guarantee world class rights for British workers.”
‘Time for Labour to get off the fence’
By Liam Byrne, former Labour Cabinet Minister
Voters will not reward a Labour Party that acts like a churlish backseat driver over Brexit.
It’s time for Labour to get off the fence – and set out the plan we think best for Britain.
The stakes are high.
If Theresa May fails to broker a deal with the neighbours, we’ll be trading on World Trade Organisation rules. That means big bills for car firms and farmers, which would personally cost us £900 each.
Of course the will of the people should prevail. But the referendum offered voters a ballot paper, not a blueprint. A simple choice on Brexit
– not a road map through the minefield Britain now has to navigate.
The occupants of Downing Street seem determined to take us over the cliff. What Labour can offer is a safer, surer route forward.