Brexit was caused by a national spasm, former transport secretary Lord Adonis told a Lewes audience one year after article 50 was triggered.
At a talk given in the White Hart hotel on “The plan to stop Brexit,” Lord Adonis also said that Northern Ireland was being treated disgracefully by the UK government.
Lord Adonis told the audience: “We were misled by the leave campaign and sold a lie. This has led to a national spasm, which the government is going fully ahead with.”
Lord Adonis, who served in Tony Blair’s cabinet, has been a vocal opponent of the UK leaving the EU and the aim of his appearance was to inspire anti-Brexit activists.
On Ireland, Adonis said; “this is a disgraceful way to be treating Ireland. They [the government] are saying Ireland should follow its colonial master.”
Travel between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland is uncertain after the UK leaves the EU as people can currently freely travel between the two countries.
A physical border, which the Republic of Ireland opposes, could be introduced if the UK wishes to reduce EU migration.
Lord Adonis said; “The Irish border is the Achilles heel that’s quickly turning into an Achilles foot.”
During his time in Lewes Lord Adonis was involved in a dispute with local MP Maria Caulfield on Twitter.
Lord Adonis was told to “Please withdraw your misleading lie”, by Maria Caulfield, after he implied she was not engaging with remain supporters in the area.
Maria Caulfield supports Brexit, despite the constituency voting narrowly to remain.
Ms Caulfield described the Brexit campaign as; “the country raising up and shouting loud.”
Janet Hardy-Gould, who organized the event and is a member of EUnity Lewes, said; “we have a lot of people who voted remain in Lewes, but people have been kowtowed by the government ploughing on with a hard Brexit.”
Mrs Hardy-Gould added; “many people voted leave because of difficult social issues, such as healthcare and housing. Brexit will make these social issues worse not better.”
Lord Adonis advocates a second referendum after a deal is struck, with accepting the terms of the deal or remaining in the EU as the options.
Prime Minister Theresa May said of a second referendum: “People in the UK feel very strongly that if we take a decision, then governments should not turn round and say no you got that wrong.”