Councillors clashed over whether the country should accept the prime minister’s Brexit deal or demand a second referendum.

Brent Council passed a motion on Monday in support of a People’s Vote, asking Theresa May to include the option of remaining in the European Union on any future ballot paper.

Mrs May is currently touring the country in an attempt to drum up support for the withdrawal agreement she agreed with EU leaders at the weekend.

Conservative councillor Michael Maurice said it is vital that the public, and the MPs who will vote on the deal, get behind her.

“Now that we’re leaving the EU, our government has worked hard to secure the best deal for the UK, its people, Europe and other world powers,” he said.

“We, as Conservatives, encourage and support Brent to make sure that it is open for business for people from all countries, including those inside and outside the EU.”

He said there is no guarantee that things will be worse if Mrs May’s deal is pushed through.

And he described the prospect of another referendum as “an insult to all those who voted in 2016”.

But Labour councillor Matt Kelcher said it was impossible for him to sit back and say nothing in opposition to the current situation – and he suggested that others do the same.

“For me, the most important reason to support a People’s Vote is simple,” he said.

“I don’t have any children – I may do one day. But I do have many young cousins, nieces and nephews.

“And I’m haunted by the thought that, in a few years’ time, they might learn all about this and come to me and say: ‘is it true that, when you were my age, you could choose to live, work and study in 26 other countries?

“‘And if you fell in love with someone from Europe you could easily be together? And the business you worked for could trade easily across the continent?’

“When I answer ‘yes’, I don’t want them to come back to me and ask what I did to protect those rights, only for me to say, ‘well I did nothing, I was told it was the will of the people’.”