KIDDERMINSTER-based MEP James Carver has announced his retirement from politics, describing the Prime Minister's EU withdrawal agreement as the "worst in history".

The former UKIP, now independent, West Midlands MEP will remain in office until the end of June, his Kidderminster office will close on Friday (April 26) as the European Parliament enters recess pending the forthcoming Euro elections.

Announcing his retirement to The Shuttle this afternoon (Tuesday), Mr Carver said he was "bitterly disappointed" that the UK's departure from the EU had been delayed.

He said: "I have campaigned for more than 20 years for Britain to regain its independence from the shackles of the EU but my joy at the referendum result in 2016 has been soured by the inept handling of Brexit by the Conservative government and Parliament’s failure to endorse the decision of the people and leave on World Trade Organisation (WTO) terms on the date set.”

Mr Carver, who lives in Worcester, described the Prime Minister's withdrawal agreement as the "worst in history, leaving the UK tied to EU rules but with no influence, a backstop that potentially locks us into a customs union indefinitely and a bill of at least £39 billion".

He said: "It satisfies no-one, neither Remainers nor Leavers, and our MPs should have voted to leave on WTO terms, enabling the UK to trade around the world, free from the protectionist, self-serving EU with its desire for ever closer union.

“Tariffs are falling across the globe – the fear of Armageddon is unfounded, and businesses would not allow political motivations to harm their trading opportunities.”

Mr Carver said he had been proud to serve the West Midlands as an MEP for the last five years, having had offices in Kidderminster town centre and more recently in Lisle Avenue.

He added: “I have done my best to help, support and campaign for the region and its people.

“At the same time, I have, of course, taken every opportunity in Brussels and Strasbourg, as well as back home, to speak out against what I believe is the negative impact of the European Union on the UK and the rest of Europe.

Through my membership of the Foreign Affairs Committee and as a former UKIP spokesman on the Commonwealth, I have also been committed to supporting nations outside the bloc.”

Mr Carver will concentrate on his bespoke umbrella-making business which he shelved when he was elected in 2014.