The hon. Gentleman makes the point that I was underlining about the need to see that asylum claims are processed as efficiently and effectively as possible. However, I do think that the amendment would blur the lines and might well lead to spurious or inappropriate asylum claims being made, perhaps by people already in this country coming to the end of their stay, whether they came as visitors, students or via other routes. That is a real challenge. The amendment would undermine the integrity of what we all believe in: providing protection to those who are fleeing persecution, ensuring that we have a system that is efficient, effective and focused on making those decisions and seeing that people receive support as recognised refugees at the earliest opportunity. It risks more claims, of whatever character, being made.
We also have to bear in mind the resident labour market. It is argued that if you give an asylum seeker the right to work, you are, in essence, denying a job to someone who is already living in this country lawfully. Because of the implications of that we judge that it is right to have a system that recognises that if there is delay—we judge that 12 months is the right period—people can work, but they should not be seeking to frustrate or delay the system; that test has to be captured as well. It is about shortage skills, those that are needed. That is why the focus is there, otherwise we get into a blurring of issues in relation to economic migration. We must do our utmost to ensure that people in this country who have the skills and the ability are able to access the job market.