In the key, closing message of her address, Mrs May said the government recognised the economic pain ordinary people had been through since the financial crash of a decade ago.
Her speech also saw her claim that Labour are unfit for office, calling the party's response to antisemitism allegations a "national tragedy", and repeatedly condemning Jeremy Corbyn for questioning the United Kingdom intelligence services over the Salisbury poising attack. A hard border could jeopardise peace on the island.
"For too long people have felt they have been ignored on immigration and that politicians have not taken their concerns seriously enough", the prime minister said.
But May also has her share of heavyweight supporters both inside the party and Brussels who think any alternative to her plan would make matters far worse.
She said it would be tough at first, but Britain's "resilience and ingenuity" would see it through. The audience included leading pro-Brexit lawmakers, a well-known political spin doctor and hedge fund billionaire Michael Hintze, a Conservative donor.
She urged all sections of her divided party to "come together" behind her negotiating stance after days of criticism of her Chequers blueprint for Brexit.
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Many ministers addressing the main stage in Birmingham have turned their sights on leftist leader Jeremy Corbyn, a theme expected to be echoed by May.
Foster acknowledged that it "could well be the case" that the majority of people in Northern Ireland disagrees with her on equal marriage, but said the issue should be left for the future Assembly to deal with.
With no agreement with the bloc over the terms of divorce or a future trade relationship, the last day of the conference marked the beginning of what some officials predict will be a frenzied couple of weeks of diplomacy between London and Brussels as the two sides try to pin down a deal.
Britain's governing party is deeply divided over the country's impending departure from the European Union, with pro- and anti-EU camps both criticising the prime minister's negotiations with the bloc.
Talking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme this week, the PM said: "The question of business travel, of tourism, will be part of negotiations". Ms Foster said proposals for a regulatory "border down the Irish Sea" would damage Northern Ireland's economy and harm it "constitutionally", adding that it was a clear red line.
As a party leader, Foster has sought to soften the DUP's stance on LGBT+ rights.
May is urging her fractious Conservative Party to unite and help her seal a deal with the bloc. The party has said it will not tolerate any new checks which would put Northern Ireland on a different footing to the rest of the UK.
"This is our proposal: taking back control of our borders, laws and money".