Ringo Starr is sending back the knighthood that he received in the New Year’s Honours until “hard Brexit is achieved”, it has emerged.

“I love Britain,” said the Beatles drummer from his home in Monte Carlo, “but I can’t accept a knighthood until we are out of the EU.”

Starr said that the referendum result gave the UK the chance “to be in control” of its own destiny when it severs ties with Brussels.

“Brexit is a great move for Britain,” said Ringo, despite admitting he did not vote in the EU referendum.

“The politicians just need to get on with it.”

The 77-year-old musician was set to join his bandmate Sir Paul McCartney as a knight of the realm, 52 years after receiving an MBE.

“I’m sending the knighthood back to protest against the MPs dragging their feet over hard Brexit,” explained Starr.

“John also sent his MBE back as a protest; I’m just doing what he would have wanted.”

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