Don't Mention Brexit! U.K. Companies Avoid Saying the ‘B’ Word

(Bloomberg) -- U.K. homebuilders have been described as a “Brexit football” being tossed around the market by the seemingly endless uncertainty and political back-and-forth that the U.K.’s exit from the European Union has wrought.

Yet in a trading update Wednesday, Taylor Wimpey Plc seems to go to great lengths avoid actually saying the “B” word. It’s “clearly too early to give a definitive view on 2019 trading” and the company will “closely monitor market conditions for any potential impact on customer confidence in light of the wider political and economic uncertainty,” Taylor Wimpey said. But the word “Brexit” is nowhere to be found in the statement.

And it’s not just housebuilders. Grocers J Sainsbury Plc and Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc and wine retailer Majestic Wine Plc -- all undoubtedly affected by the way Brexit is sapping consumer confidence -- included notes like “challenging market backdrop” in their announcements this week, but never say the word. It seems the word itself now carries a curse akin to an actor uttering Macbeth in a theater and might need a euphemism like “The Scottish Play” to remedy superstitions. The British Exit, perhaps?

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