Lord Heseltine led calls for a House of Lords amendment to the Article 50 Bill that would force the Government to give MPs a ‘meaningful vote’ on the final Brexit deal before Britain’s withdrawal from the EU.
The former Tory Cabinet minister’s Article 50 Bill amendment passed through the House of Lords with a majority of 98.
Anna Soubry hailed Lord Heseltine's 'enormous experience, great wisdom & remarkable energy'
Tory MP Ms Soubry tweeted: “Michael Heseltine gave his time, enormous experience, great wisdom & remarkable energy to Cameron & May's Government. He will be greatly missed.”
Around 20 Conservative MPs could now rebel against the Government and vote in favour of the amendments in the Commons, with Ms Soubry one of those likely to defy Theresa May’s three-line whip.
All the pictures from Brexit Bill Tuesday Tue, March 7, 2017
Theresa May is facing a second defeat on her Brexit bill Tuesday as the House of Lords votes on another change which would give parliament the final say on leaving the EU
AFP/Getty Images 1 of 20
Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, speaks in the House of Lords Chamber at the start of the third day of The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill
She said: “I’m hoping a significant number of colleagues who may not be able to vote against their Government would consider abstaining, and recognise that their lordships have considered the Bill carefully.
“What do these hard Brexiteers fear? They wanted to restore Parliamentary sovereignty, but suddenly they seem terrified of Parliament having a say, never mind sovereignty.”
Ms Soubry warned Mrs May could face being “humiliated” in the Supreme Court if she chooses to “avoid Parliament” by denying MPs a ‘meaningful’ vote.
Anna Soubry's Twitter tribute
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
The news comes after Lord Heseltine was ousted from his Government role after defying Theresa May over the Brexit Bill.
Responding to the news, he said: "I have just been told by the Chief Whip in the Lords that No 10 is to sack me from the five jobs with which I have been helping the Government following my vote in the House of Lords earlier today.
Lord Heseltine pictured during the House of Lords debate
"This is entirely the right of the Prime Minister and I'm sorry that the expertise which I have put at the Government's disposal over the last six years has now come to an end.
"However, in the last resort, I believe, as I said in the House of Lords, the future of this country is inextricably interwoven with our European friends.
"It's the duty of Parliament to assert its sovereignty in determining the legacy we leave to new generations of young people."