“The outcome of the latest crisis summit has failed to address the underlying causes of the current crisis and may well have made matters worse by undermining the working of the European Union.

“Leaders have agreed a set of actions which simply confirm a strategy which has failed over the last year and a half.  Tough talk about deficits has led to short-term rallies followed by much worse trouble.  This deal is simply October’s failed strategy funded a slightly different way and with the added complication of a major break in EU-solidarity.

“The solution to this crisis has always been the availability of enough funds to secure the ability of countries to finance their debts.  Unlike countries with worse debt problems, the Euro has been undermined by a policy which keeps the ECB from acting to support the issuance of sovereign debt.

“The obsessive pursuit of a ‘no lender of last resort’ policy drove Ireland and Portugal into bailouts and could yet do much deeper and more serious damage.

“The extra problem caused by this summit has been a major split between countries and a move towards a two-speed European Union which betrays the core principles upon which the Union was built.

“This was a badly prepared summit driven by narrow national agendas and a major split was inevitable.  It is highly likely that Britain will be joined by other countries in opting-out of the tighter rules, particularly given key definitions which could threaten a lengthy period of low-growth and high unemployment.

“To simply abandon the search for compromise after no more than a few days’ debate on radical proposals marks an abandonment of the European ideals by the Union’s key leaders.

“For Ireland there is the added danger that our most important trading partner is taking a different route. We need immediate reassurance that there is nothing in the enhanced cooperation and control rules that could impact on the financial services sector or corporate taxation.

“It is incredible that the Irish government has signed up for a deal that it doesn’t know the full implications of.  The government confirmed this morning that it doesn’t know if a referendum is needed, so clearly it has not analysed what exactly will change under the new system.

“The constant refusal of the government to give a detailed outline of its proposals for this summit and the failure to a proper public debate on the implications of the proposals for Ireland has led to rising uncertainty and concern.”