He then claimed the Conservative Party had not stuck to its manifesto pledges on single market membership.
Lord Ashdown said: “Have I come to terms with the fact that the British people have voted to leave? Yes I have.
“Have I come to terms with the fact that the Government has hijacked that vote for the anti-European prejudices of the Conservative Party and given us the most brutal Brexit we can imagine?
Andrew Neil and Passy Ashdown during the heated exchange
The Government has hijacked that vote for the anti-European prejudices of the Conservative Party and given us the most brutal Brexit we can imagine
“As far away from the European Union as possible despite a manifesto promise from the Conservatives we’d stay in the single market – they’ve removed us from it.”
Neil then interrupted the rant and said: “But hold on, that was a promise in the context of us staying in the European Union.”
Lord Ashdown disagreed and blasted: “I don’t think it was, if you’re going to stay in the European Union, you have to stay in the single market Andrew, come on.”
But the TV presenter would not let go and told the politician to “get your facts right”.
Brexit day LIVE: images from around the country as Britain invokes Article 50 Wed, March 29, 2017
The country reacts as Theresa May officially invokes Article 50, and begins the process of Britain leaving the European Union
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Prime Minister Theresa May announces in the House of Commons that she has triggered Article 50, starting a two-year countdown to the UK leaving the EU
He said: “No, no, it’s important that you get your facts right, what they were talking about was improving and building on the single market to make it cover services more, that’s why they backed it. It was in the context of staying in the EU.”
Lord Ashdown then continued his rant and went on to berate Mrs May.
He said: “It said very bluntly ‘we will stay in the single market’… If we stayed in the EU we’d have to stay in the single market, it was not qualified in the way that you suggest.
“Mrs May has a mandate to take the country out of the European Union, she has no mandate whatsoever to take them out of the single market.”