The European Union was never designed to deal with the current global financial crisis.
The initial idea was to create a loose confederation of states that agreed with and cooperated on a range of mutual interests like finance, environment, trade, law and so on.
The creation of a single currency was a step too far for such a loose confederation.
It was overly optimistic to think that a large group of nations with widely divergent interests, expectations and political sensitivities could all operate as a single unit within a single currency.
If the single currency never existed the various countries of the EU would have struggled through the current crisis with varying degrees of success and failure.
Ireland, for example, would have been destroyed while Germany would have remained strong.
That’s all academic now because the Euro has become not just critical for individual European countries but is also a critical factor in the health of the global financial system.
The decision by the majority of European countries to forge ahead with a separate treaty was the only alternative to a complete collapse of the Euro and perhaps the entire EU project.
Ireland should now do everything possible to ensure it signs up to the new treaty.
That means no drawn out referendum campaign and no quibbling about retaining our corporation tax at the present rate.
The reality is as simple as it is brutal.
The UK, although a big shark, now finds itself alone in a big sea full of other big sharks only too eager to gobble it up if necessary.
Ireland, as a tiny fish, in that big sea full of sharks should do all in its power to ensure it remains under the protection of the large group of European sharks.