Ministers are on a collision course with Tory rebels over the Immigration Bill after ringleaders dismissed pleas for unity ahead of the general election.
Home Secretary Theresa May tried to appease restive backbenchers last night by unveiling proposals that would mean terror suspects can be stripped of British citizenship even if it leaves them stateless.
But Esher and Walton MP Dominic Raab insisted it would be a "damning indictment" if his amendment - to give ministers rather than judges the final say over whether deportation would breach the human rights of foreign criminals - was not called for debate.
He argued that his change was needed to make Mrs May's measure work, as such individuals would still need to be removed from the country.
Mr Raab said the Government was attempting a "classic trick" by adding a slew of its own amendments to swamp his "commonsense" proposal, which is thought to be supported by more than 100 MPs.
"I'm not trying to get into the totemics of Europe or pull out of Europe or scrap the Human Rights Act. I'm just trying to fix a problem," Mr Raab told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
"Wouldn't it be astonishing, a damning indictment on the political elite, if it didn't even get 30 seconds of debate in the House of Commons?
"What we should do is look very carefully at the new proposal but it won't work without my amendment."
Former Conservative leader Lord Howard urged the party to show "discipline", stressing that winning the general election outright next year was the overriding goal.
"What is needed in this stage of the parliament is a degree of self-discipline by Conservative backbenchers," he said.
"It is very important, I think, that we present the Conservative Party as a united party in the run-up to the election."
Lord Howard said the legislation, as proposed, would make it easier to deport criminals.
He stressed there were problems with the activities of the European courts on human rights issues, but cautioned against "confrontation for confrontation's sake".
Prime Minister David Cameron has sought to minimise the rebellion by stressing he shares his MPs' concerns about the behaviour of the European courts.
More than 200 foreign criminals successfully challenge deportation on human rights grounds every year, with around 90% relying on the ''right to private and family life'' set out under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Mr Raab's amendment would see the Home Secretary - rather than the courts - have the final say on whether an offender's family links are strong enough to allow them to avoid deportation.
Foreign criminals who can prove they face torture, ill-treatment or death in their home country will still be able to overturn deportation orders under separate human rights measures.
He admitted there was a "risk" that the Government would face action from Strasbourg, but insisted the measure should not breach human rights rules because of allowances for exceptional circumstances.
Alongside Mr Raab's plan, around 40 Conservatives are expected to support an amendment tabled by Nigel Mills, which calls on the Government to reinstate restrictions on migrants from Romania and Bulgaria working in Britain until the end of 2018.
Mr Mills, Conservative MP for Amber Valley, attempted to have labour market restrictions for Romanians and Bulgarians extended before they were lifted on January 1.
Mr Cameron rushed through new measures to ensure EU migrants are unable to claim out-of-work benefits for their first three months in the UK - but this was not enough to satisfy Mr Mills and his backers.
The Home Secretary already has the power to take away British citizenship from those with dual nationality, but this change would allow her to make people stateless if they have been naturalised as a British citizen.
Human rights campaigners branded the move an "alarming development", giving the Home Secretary power to "tear up people's passports without any need for the kind of due process".
But the Home Office insists powers to make British citizens stateless will be used sparingly and in strict accordance with the UK's international obligations.
Immigration Minister Mark Harper said: "Those who threaten this country's security put us all at risk. This Government will take all necessary steps to protect the public.
"Citizenship is a privilege, not a right. These proposals will strengthen the Home Secretary's powers to ensure that very dangerous individuals can be excluded if it is in the public interest to do so."
One of the highest-profile cases involving statelessness concerns Hilal al-Jedda, who fled from Iraq to the UK in 1992 as a refugee from Saddam Hussein's regime. He won asylum and in 2000 was granted British nationality.
He returned to Iraq in 2004, where he came under suspicion of involvement in terrorism and in 2007 was stripped of his British nationality.
Al-Jedda, who now lives in Turkey, has since been fighting the move through a series of legal appeals.
Last October, Supreme Court judges ruled that it was illegal to make him stateless.
Despite this ruling, the Home Secretary stripped al-Jedda of his UK citizenship for a second time last month.