Theresa May calls for Brexit extension as Parliament fails to approve deal

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday called for the European Union (EU) to grant the United Kingdom more time to negotiate an exit from the multinational trading bloc after Parliament narrowly defeated four Brexit plans.

"We will need a further extension of Article 50, one that is as short as possible, and which ends once we pass a deal," May told reporters, referring to part of the treaty of the European Union covering member withdrawals. "We need to be clear what such an extension is for: to ensure that we leave in a timely and orderly way."

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If the EU approves an extension of Article 50, lawmakers could spend several more weeks hammering out a deal.

U.K. lawmakers on Monday defeated four more plans for the U.K. to leave the EU. One measure, which failed by just a few votes, would have kept Britain in a customs union with EU countries.

The ruling Conservative Party's chief whip resigned on Monday, pledging to join a caucus of independent lawmakers frustrated with parliamentary gridlock and accusing his own party of being unwilling to negotiate.

"I have failed, chiefly, because my party refuses to compromise," Nick Boles said. "I regret, therefore, to announce that I can no longer sit for this party."

The British Parliament has been engulfed in tense negotiations ahead of a Brexit deadline later this month.