Frank Underwood, House Of Cards
House Of Cards writer Lord Michael Dobbs attributed words endorsing a Brexit to his fictional US president Netflix

The campaign for the UK to break away from the EU has been given a boost after the President of United States came out for a Brexit. But the top American politician is not Barack Obama. Instead it is the fictional anti-hero of the revamped House of Cards drama series, Frank Underwood, who has backed a Leave vote at the 23 June ballot.

The Machiavellian character, played by Kevin Spacey, blasted Brussels as a "used bus ticket" and claimed the minds of European leaders have turned to concrete.

"If I were a Brit, I wonder if I'd be more afraid to stay in the EU than to leave," he wrote in The Times.

"It's always easy to whip up a feeling of fear about change, but it infects mostly those who sit in comfort and dine on foie gras. Me, I've always been a spare-ribs man. I need something to chew on. And spit out.

"Brussels is a bit of a used bus ticket. Anyway I don't ride buses. There was a time when Europeans rode chariots and sailed ships, had ambition, ideas, built great empires."

The piece was penned by Conservative grandee and House of Cards author Lord Michael Dobbs to coincide with the start of season four of the Netflix favourite.

Underwood's endorsement means he joins other high-profile figures, such as actor Michael Caine and Mayor of London Boris Johnson in backing a Brexit.

But the Remain campaign also has some considerable celebrity firepower in the shape of Virgin founder Richard Branson and Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson, to name but two of the A-list endorsements.

The EU referendum is neck-and-neck based on the latest opinion polling from ICM. Its online survey, of more than 2,000 people between 26 and 29 February, put both Leave and Remain on 41%, with 18% of respondents undecided.