The universe has finally come up with a phenomenon that renowned scientist Stephen Hawking cannot explain: Donald Trump.

Asked to explain the Republican presidential candidate's ascension to frontrunner status, the British theoretical physicist was stumped.

"I can't," he said on ITV's "Good Morning Britain." "He is a demagogue, who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator."

During his appearance on the program, Hawking also commented on political issues closer to home. He urged U.K. voters to support a referendum that would keep the nation in the European Union. The vote will be held June 23.

"Gone are the days when we could stand on our own, against the world," he said. "We need to be part of a larger group of nations, both for our security and our trade. The possibility of our leaving the EU has already led to a sharp fall in the pound, because the markets judge that it will damage our economy."

Education, he said, is a chief factor.

"There are two obvious reasons why we should stay in," Hawking said. "The first is that it promotes the mobility of people. Students can come here from EU countries to study, and our students can go to other EU universities. More importantly, at the level of research, the exchange of people enables skills to transfer more quickly, and brings new people with different ideas. Without this exchange we would become more culturally isolated and insular, and ultimately more remote from where progress is being made."

Backers of "Brexit" - the initiative behind a UK exit from the EU - naturally disagree.

"The EU has been bad for science - increasing costs and bureaucracy," said Vote Leave Chief Executive Matthew Elliott. "The clinical trials directive, for example, acted to double the cost of cancer research - as leading scientists and medical practitioners have acknowledged. In the internet age, it is patently ridiculous to suggest that the referendum will have an impact on the exchange of information between scientists. And with our world class universities, the caliber of scientists wanting to study here is unlikely to do anything except grow.

"We give more money to the EU than we get back - meaning we could spend more on science if we vote to leave."

Hawking, meanwhile, also weighed on a much lighter topic: the perception that his profile has grown since Eddie Redmayne's Oscar-winning portrayal of him in 2014's "The Theory of Everything."

"I had many fans before Eddie Redmayne played me," the scientist said.