While his motivation may have been simple political survival, David Cameron's big speech on Europe has merely heightened uncertainty at precisely the wrong time as Britain totters on the brink of a triple-dip recession.
Most analysts believe his suggestion of an in/out referendum in 2017 will herald five years of uncertainty as businesses wonder if the UK will remain in the EU after that.
Though the immediate reason for his change of policy may be the series of polls showing UKIP making gains, it probably will not do much to dent its advance.
When pollsters ask British voters what are the most important issues facing the country, Europe comes way down the list. When those voters are asked what the most important issues facing themselves and their families are, it is even lower down the list.
Cameron's decision to proceed with the referendum option and risk uncertainty comes in the face of several warnings, from business leaders and former ministers, of the perils of taking this course.
Tory Grandee Michael Heseltine gave the clearest one, saying: "To commit to a referendum about a negotiation that hasn't begun, on a timescale you cannot predict, on an outcome that's unknown, where Britain's appeal as an inward investment market would be the centre of the debate, seems to me like an unnecessary gamble."
The UK is our nearest neighbour and biggest trading partner, so what happens there matters deeply to us.
A UK pullout from the EU could be potentially very costly for Ireland, not to mention the prospect it raises of seeing a return of the Border. It also means losing a key European partner and ally.
While an ultimate UK withdrawal would be bad news, the uncertainty Cameron has created for his own people may present a small opportunity for Ireland in the short term.
Investors looking for an English-speaking, common-law jurisdiction with access to the EU markets may now look to Ireland instead of the UK as a location for investment, and the Government needs to be ready to grasp any such opportunities.
But these investors will not be interested in swapping the Cameron-created uncertainty in the UK for a Kenny-constructed uncertainty here.
The Taoiseach's two RTE interviews this week have done nothing to enlighten any of us as to what he is seeking in Europe to ease our banking and sovereign debt.
His replies to specific questions on the topic were peppered with his latest buzzwords "restructured" and "re-engineered". His continuing assertion that we will see the deal restructured "from a serious overdraft to a long-term, low-interest mortgage" only causes more confusion, especially in the absence of any facts or figures.
Yes, we know the Taoiseach wants a deal on the Anglo Promissory Note due at the end of March and that he believes that he will get one, but the credibility of the Taoiseach, the Tanaiste and the Minister for Communications has been severely dented by their repeated claims that they did not pay the Anglo Promissory Note last March.
They did. No amount of three-card tricks and duplicitous double talk from any of them can mask the fact that it was paid – and paid in full. The Government borrowed the money (€3.06bn) from NAMA who, in turn, passed the debt to Bank of Ireland.
Next March's IBRC Promissory Note pales in comparison with other key decisions pending later in the year. The Government's "kicking the can down the road" strategy is not working. It is merely enshrining uncertainty. The evidence is plain to see in any town centre with closed shops and idle job seekers.
If we want to benefit from the uncertainty in the UK, then we must address the ongoing uncertainty here. Some plain speaking on what a bank debt deal might involve would be a good start.
Willie O'Dea is a Fianna Fail TD for Limerick City;