The table is set for a vigorous British debate, leading to a national vote June 23 on whether the United Kingdom should leave the European Union.

Great Britain’s relationship with the EU was one of the issues in the country’s 2015 elections. Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party won a decisive victory over various opponents, including the isolationist U.K. Independence Party. He did, however, promise the electorate a vote on the U.K.’s future with the EU by 2017.

Last week, he reached a deal with EU leaders on “special status” for the United Kingdom. The deal would give Britain, among other things, an exemption from further political integration under the “ever closer union” clause; the ability to deny for four years certain benefits to newly arrived workers from other EU countries; and the right to supervise financial institutions and markets to preserve Britain’s stability.

Although the United States in general favors a strong and cohesive EU for economic as well as political reasons, the British electorate needs to make this decision on its own, free of American pressure. As a former colony, the United States has appreciated British traditions and its strong support of American policies in international scrapes. That will remain true whether the U.K. is in or out of the union.