A Border Force vessel brings a group of people thought to be migrants into the port city of Dover.

Britain’s military said it has been asked by the government to help prevent people from reaching the UK from France in small boats.

The Ministry of Defense said it had received a request from the Home Office to "support U.K. Border Force operations in the Dover Straits," according to AP.

This week saw a record daily number of people crossing the English Channel to the UK in small boats in part due to summer weather.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has said the Royal Navy could be called in to prevent boats reaching UK waters.

Education minister Nick Gibb said the government was working with their French counterparts to reduce the number of arrivals, including preventing them from leaving France.

"People seeking asylum should be content that France is a safe place to seek asylum," Gibb said.

At least 235 migrants in 17 boats landed or were picked up by British forces on August 6, passing last week’s record of 202 arrivals in one day.

Migrants have long crossed the channel from northern France as a way to reach the UK, either in trucks through the Channel Tunnel or on ferries.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, the UK's strong economy and need for farm and restaurant labour drew migrants from around the world who could speak some English.

Some have turned to small boats organised by smugglers because lockdowns have reduced opportunities to stow away on ferries and trucks.