Daniel Hannan has said that extending Article 50 could mean leaving the European Union on “better terms” than if the UK went ahead with Brexit this year, despite not agreeing a withdrawal agreement.
Attorney General Geoffrey Cox remains in Brussels to continue to negotiate changes to the UK's withdrawal agreement.
The Conservative MEP for south east England told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “I don’t believe that even if Parliament was to vote for an extension of Article 50 that would mean we would never leave.
“It would mean that instead of leaving on disastrous terms this year, we would leave on better terms next year.”
He added: “Talking to people in Brussels, I think they genuinely want to replace the 21 months of transitioning without voting-membership with something else.”
The prime minister has suggested that there could be a possibility of extending Article 50 up until June, but that an extension beyond that would mean the UK would have to take part in the European Parliament elections.
'A bargaining chip'
Mr Hannan described the current withdrawal agreement as “worse” than staying in the EU.
“This is something far worse because it keeps us in without a vote, voice or veto,” he said.
“It allows the EU to keep the fifth largest economy in the world as a bargaining chip to benefit its own economies.
“It is much worse than even staying or leaving. It is quite extraordinary that we have come to this point.
“The idea of making these concessions was that it was in exchange for a deep and comprehensive trade agreement.”
Mr Hannan said the UK had made “enormous concessions” during negotiations.
He added: “The only area that they have dug in is on the backstop and for a very good reason.
“EU membership has an exit mechanism but the backstop does not. We are being asked to replace a temporary relationship with a permanent one, in exchange for a trade deal that has not materialised.”