The European Union agreed to give Great Britain until Oct. 31 to figure out a plan for exiting the union, setting the stage for more political turmoil in Westminster.

EU member states agreed to the extension Wednesday after UK Prime Minister Theresa May's last-ditch lobbying efforts.

EU Council President Donald Tusk tweeted that EU members and the UK had agreed on a "flexible extension until 31 October."

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The UK was supposed to leave the union by March 31, under terms of the Brexit referendum approved two years ago. But the failure of Parliament to approve a plan for dealing with many issues, including how to manage the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, prevented a clean exit.

At the same time, Parliament voted against leaving the EU without any agreement, placing May's government in the awkward position of lobbying for more time to arrange a deal.

The pound was modestly higher against the U.S. dollar in the wake of the decision.