According to Sam Lowe, a fellow at the Centre for European Reform, the amendment excludes labour standards from dispute settlement mechanisms. [27] In addition, the mechanism for a level playing field has been moved from the legally binding Withdrawal Agreement to the Political Declaration[24] and the line in the Political Declaration that “the UK will consider aligning itself with EU legislation in relevant areas” has been deleted. [26] The EU said such a period was far too short and there were fears that a chaotic exit, averted this week, would still take place at the end of the year if the transition ends without an agreement. The ratification of the withdrawal agreement, on which Britain and the EU had agreed in October, was not in question after completing its committee phase without any problems last week.