Jacob Rees-Mogg said the unelected House of Lords was risking its very existence by stubbornly attempting to disrupt the Brexit process.
His comments came after a petition calling for a referendum on abolishing the House of Lords passed the 100,000 signature mark, which could trigger a debate in Parliament.
Mr Rees-Mogg, speaking in the House of Commons at an event organised by the Open Europe thinktank today, said peers “have to decide whether they love ermine or the EU more”.
He added: “It’s striking that 100,000 people can sign a petition so quickly.
“I think their lordships are playing with fire and it would be a shame to burn down a historic house.”
The online petition was created by Robert McBride on February 17, meaning it has hit 100,000 signatures in barely two months.
The petition reads: “The House of Lords is a place of patronage where unelected and unaccountable individuals hold a disproportionate amount of influence and power which can be used to frustrate the elected representatives of the people.”
And Mr Rees-Mogg’s outburst comes after the Lords delivered two Brexit defeats in short succession to Prime Minister Theresa May, on the customs union and EU law.
Their actions prompted Tory MP Daniel Kawczynski to accuse peers of “insulting the British people’s intelligence” by failing to realise a Brexit vote meant leaving the customs union.
He said: “The time may be coming when where we need to have a national debate on an elected senate.
“We would only need 100 senators, we don’t need the 850 peers we have at the moment.
“I believe we do need to retain a bicameral system, with checks on the House of Commons.
“But I believe the time has come for us to have an elected senate.
“I believe that any decisions that have to be taken have to be done by people held to account by their electorate.
“People in the House of Lords don’t have that.”