Conservative MEP Ashley Fox claimed the European Union were watching debates in the House of Commons eagerly in case there was support of Brexit “wavering”.
Prime Minister Theresa May fought off a humiliating Commons defeat on the Government’s Withdrawal Bill on Tuesday evening but was forced to agree to concessions with a group of Remainers in her own party.
Experts have warned the concessions have weakened Mrs May’s negotiating stance as it could end Britain’s ability to walk away from the EU without a deal.
Conservative Mr Fox said: “The EU is watching the House of Commons today as MPs debate the EU Withdrawal Bill.
Ashley Fox claimed the EU was watching events in the House of Commons
“If the EU believes that our commitment to leave is wavering, they push even harder for a deal that works only for them, and not for Britain.
“There should be no doubt that if the government is defeated our negotiating hand is weakened and we will pay for that in the negotiations.
“MPs must remember that people did not vote to leave with caveats in mind. The public did not think, let’s leave the EU but keep freedom of movement.
“Nor did they think, let’s take back control by leaving the political institutions but continue to take EU rules without a say.
If the EU believes that our commitment to Leave is wavering, they push even harder for a deal that works only for them
“And no one believes we can become a global trading nation again without an independent trade policy.”
Speaking on Tuesday, Mr Fox added: “Unfortunately some members of Parliament believe this and are attempting to throw a spanner in the works to ensure that Britain never truly leaves the EU.
“We cannot stay in the European Economic Area, like Norway as we wouldn’t be able to control immigration and Britain would still have to obey EU rules.
“We cannot remain in the Customs Union and sign our own trade deals meaning that Britain could not make the most of the opportunities that Brexit presents.”
Dominic Grieve’s amendment, which would have secured a ‘meaningful vote’ on Mrs May’s Brexit deal, was voted down by 324 votes to 298 on Tuesday evening with a majority of 26.
Mr Grieve ended up voting with the Government – against his own amendment – and said he believes MPs will be offered a meaningful vote anyway.
The Prime Minister is now expected to get through the latest round of crunch Brexit votes unscathed, with a potentially explosive clash over the customs union on Wednesday already defused by a compromise amendment.