Newton Aycliffe MP Phil Wilson has warned the car industry could face a “slow and inevitable extinction” if the UK leaves the single market.
Mr Wilson was one of 74 Labour MPs who rebelled against party leader Jeremy Corbyn and voted to keep the UK in the single market this week.
But despite being joined by three Conservative rebels who also backed single market membership, the proposal was defeated in the House of Commons by 327 votes to 126.
Another 15 Labour MPs voted against continued membership of the single market.
It means a total of 89 Labour MPs ignored instructions from the party leadership to abstain on the key Brexit vote.
The Sedgefield MP told the House of Commons this week: “Staying in the single market and the customs union is critical to jobs and prosperity.
“Trade figures published only last week show that 62.3% of the North-East’s exports go to the EU.
“The president of the CBI has said that the UK car industry is facing extinction. Such comments should worry us all, but they should send a chill around every community in the north-east of England.
“The North-East is home to Nissan, which exports many of the cars it builds. It directly employs around 6,500 people, with more than 25,000 people employed in the supply chain. Everyone in the North-East knows someone who does something for Nissan.
“I have never been one of those who say that companies like Nissan will close on Brexit day, but I worry about the long-term investment opportunities in industry in my region.
“In the North-East we know what happens when an industry is faced with slow but inevitable extinction.”
Mr Wilson likened the potential decline of the car industry in our region to the collapse of the coal mines in the 1980s.
He added: “The dozens of collieries that closed did so over several decades because their reserves were depleted and because of the lack of investment.
“My father was twice made redundant because the collieries he worked down closed over the space of a decade.
“Just like Nissan today, and probably more so, back then everyone knew somebody who worked down the pits or at the National Coal Board.
“With the closure of the coalmines, communities were left behind. Some have not recovered, and the resentments they harbour played into the Brexit vote.”
MPs were voting on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, which repeals the legislation that made the UK a member of the EU.
The House of Lords had previously added an amendment to the Bill designed to keep the UK in the European Economic Area.
In practice, this would mean we remained part of the single market, which allows for the free trade of goods and services.
The Conservative Government wants to leave the single market, and asked MPs to delete the amendment.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn ordered his MPs to abstain. Labour opposes single market membership on the grounds that it means obeying rules which are drawn up by the EU and allowing freedom of movement, but claims that it would be able to negotiate a new deal allowing the UK to keep all the advantages of membership.