In her keynote address to the Conservative Party conference in Birmingham on Wednesday, May said Britain’s vote to exit the EU (Brexit) has been a “turning point” for the country.
May pledged that her government would re-balance economy in certain sectors to spread wealth and warned that she would fight until the end with those who seek to split apart Britain.
Just three months after she became prime minister, May said her vision was of a country "where everyone plays by the same rules and where every single person, regardless of their background or that of their parents, is given the chance to be all they want to be".
She acknowledged public frustration over stagnating wages, insecure jobs, unaffordable housing and competition by low-skilled immigrants.
"If we don't respond - if we don't take this opportunity to deliver the change people want - resentments will grow. Divisions will become entrenched,” the prime minister stated.
She also warned high-income bosses who fail to pay living wages for their employees or allow pension funds to go bust, as well as multinationals that dodge taxes. "I'm putting you on warning. This can't go on any more."
The Brexit vote has cast a shadow over the four-day conference, which began with May confirming the timing of the UK's formal exit from the EU, which she said will happen before March 2017.
Experts have warned that leaving the EU will severely hurt London’s position as a financial hub, unless the UK decides to keep its access to the single EU market by loosening its stance on immigration.