The result left Prime Minister Theresa May to fight another day as she tries to take Britain out of the bloc while retaining support from pro-EU and pro-Brexit wings of her Conservative Party.
Rebels had been pushing for an amendment that would have given Parliament unprecedented powers over the final stages of Brexit talks. The House of Lords has inserted 15 amendments to soften the terms of Britain's departure.
Despite depending on the votes of the 10 DUP MPs for her precarious Commons majority, there were signs of cautious optimism among ministers that they would get the numbers to see off the revolt.
In a concession, the government promised that lawmakers would have a say on what to do next if there is no agreement with the European Union, or if Parliament rejects the deal offered.
If agreed, ministers would have until the end of November this year to secure a Brexit deal before seeking the approval of parliament.
"But if the Lords amendments are allowed to stand, that negotiating position will be undermined".
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May is resisting changes approved by the House of Lords that would soften Britain's exit from the European Union, because she says they will weaken the government's negotiating position.
Theresa May last night brokered a fragile unity among MPs, pressing the case that Brussels will be watching and urging them not to undermine negotiations. He said that while he was sad to leave the government, he believed many big changes were needed to make the U.K.'s exit a success.
Brexit Secretary David Davis and Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier.
"We have listened wherever possible to sensible suggestions that have been made to improve the bill", he said.
An hour before the vote, the government's solicitor general, Robert Buckland, promised lawmaker Dominic Grieve talks on increasing the powers of parliament if May was unable to reach agreement in Brussels. Grieve suggested that would not be enough to prevent a rebellion.
It is not clear what the rebels may have been offered by the Whips behind closed doors to persuade them to toe the party line. Downing Street sources said they would back an alternative amendment on the proposal for "a customs arrangement", tabled by the backbenchers Nicky Morgan, a remainer, and Jacob Rees-Mogg, a leading Brexiter.